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With winds weakened, prescribed burning season back in full swing

With winds weakened, prescribed burning season back in full swing

  • The forest service promotes this week as Prescribed Fire Awareness Week, Jan. 22 through Jan. 28.
  • , there are currently more than 1,600 certified prescribed burn managers in Florida managing more than 2.3 million acres of agricultural and natural lands with prescribed fire.
  • Jim Karels, Florida state forester, added, “Although smoke from a nearby prescribed fire may be inconvenient, it is important to remember that this brief inconvenience helps keep potentially life-threatening wildfires at bay.”
  • After checking weather conditions Tuesday morning, a team from Hillsborough County and the Forest Service started a prescribed burn on 375 acres of the Alafia River Corridor Preserve, a county-owned preserve near Lithia.
  • In an average year, the Florida Forest Service issues 85,000 prescribed burning authorizations, the service said.

LITHIA — Once wind gusts from Sunday and Monday had died down, forest managers resumed work on prescribed burns in areas such as the Alafia River Corridor Preserve.

@TB_Times: With winds weakened, prescribed burning season back in full swing

LITHIA — Once wind gusts from Sunday and Monday had died down, forest managers resumed work on prescribed burns in areas such as the Alafia River Corridor Preserve.

Sustained winds of up to 35 mph and gusts of up to 50 mph forced the cancellation of prescribed burns scheduled for Monday in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties, said Todd Chlanda, a spokesman for the Florida Forest Service.

“We will go day by day depending on how the weather is going to be,” Chlanda said.

After checking weather conditions Tuesday morning, a team from Hillsborough County and the Forest Service started a prescribed burn on 375 acres of the Alafia River Corridor Preserve, a county-owned preserve near Lithia.

The burns use slow-moving, low-grade fire to reduce brush and overgrowth that would otherwise serve as fuel for a dangerous wildfire. In addition, prescribed fires return nutrients to the soil, provide better forage for wildlife and livestock, and help control plant and tree diseases.

The forest service promotes this week as Prescribed Fire Awareness Week, Jan. 22 through Jan. 28. A dry spring is forecast, said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam H. Putnam, so fire danger may be high.

“We have fortunately avoided severe wildfire seasons in recent years, but Florida is no stranger to the devastating effects of wildfire,” Putnam said in a news release.

Jim Karels, Florida state forester, added, “Although smoke from a nearby prescribed fire may be inconvenient, it is important to remember that this brief inconvenience helps keep potentially life-threatening wildfires at bay.”

In an average year, the Florida Forest Service issues 85,000 prescribed burning authorizations, the service said. In addition, there are currently more than 1,600 certified prescribed burn managers in Florida managing more than 2.3 million acres of agricultural and natural lands with prescribed fire.

With winds weakened, prescribed burning season back in full swing

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