Prescribed fire today at Newnans Lake Conservation Area in Alachua County

A prescribed fire burns off undergrowth in a pine forest.

A prescribed fire burns off undergrowth in a pine forest.

Prescribed fire next to a creek

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

PALATKA, Fla., March 8, 2024 — The St. Johns River Water Management District is conducting an 62-acre prescribed burn today at Newnans Lake Conservation Area in Alachua County. The burn will be located along the property’s northern boundary. The burn’s purpose is to reduce hazardous fuel loads and maintain fire-dependent natural communities.

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 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 #LoveYourLands #RxBurn #goodfire #sjrwmd.