Controlled burn today at Blue Cypress Conservation Area in Indian River County

District staff keeping an eye on a prescribed fire

Prescribed fire helps reduce the possibility of dangerous wildfire while enhancing land’s environmental quality.

PALM BAY, Fla., March 1, 2017 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is conducting a 12,000-acre prescribed fire on Wednesday at Blue Cypress Conservation Area in Indian River County. The purpose of the controlled burn is to maintain a healthy ecosystem and to reduce fuels that can cause wildfires.

Prescribed fire is the use of carefully planned fire purposefully set under stringent conditions to control the fire’s effects. Its benefits include restoring and maintaining natural communities, reducing chances of destructive wildfires, perpetuating fire-adapted plants and animals, cycling nutrients, controlling tree diseases, and opening scenic vistas. Prescribed fires help prevent wildfires by burning off fuels that naturally build up over time, while also helping to control the growth of woody shrubs.

Before conducting a burn, the district ensures wind and other weather conditions are correct for controlling the fire and minimizing the impacts of smoke to residents and traffic.