Prescribed fire today at Sunnyhill Restoration Area in Marion County

District staff with drip torch starting a prescribed fire

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

District staff with drip torch starting a prescribed fire

Prescribed fire reduces the chance of wildfire on District lands. In the photo above, a drip torch is used to ignite a prescribed fire.

PALATKA, Fla., Nov. 15, 2021 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is conducting a 162-acre prescribed burn Monday at its Sunnyhill Restoration Area in Marion County. The burn will close a portion of the Sunnyhill South Tract. The burns’ purpose is to maintain fire-dependent natural communities, reduce hazardous fuel accumulations and enhance native forage for wildlife and grazing.

Prescribed fire is the use of carefully planned fire purposefully set under stringent conditions to manage the fire’s effects. Before conducting a burn, the District ensures that wind and other weather conditions are correct for managing the fire and minimizing the impacts of smoke to residents and traffic.

Periodic prescribed fires on District lands enhance the land’s environmental quality and protect its neighbors from destructive wildfires, but not without the possibility of temporary nuisances, such as smoke and ash.

Prescribed fires help prevent wildfires by burning off fuels that naturally build up over time, while also helping to manage the growth of woody shrubs.

In fire-dependent ecosystems, fire is as nearly as important as rainfall and sunshine. The benefits of prescribed fire include restoring and maintaining natural communities, reducing chances of destructive wildfires, perpetuating fire-adapted plants and animals, cycling nutrients, managing tree diseases and opening scenic vistas.

Follow the District on social media to know when prescribed burns are taking place in your area. To learn more about the District’s prescribed burn program, visit the District online at or follow the conversation at #RXburn #goodfire #sjrwmd.