Smoke over Myakka River
Some residents of Florida and many visitors may not fully understand that the vegetation and landscapes of Florida have been shaped by regularly reoccurring and naturally ignited fire for thousands of years. The Florida Park Service routinely uses prescribed burning to simulate the natural effects of fire to maintain the health of the lands that we are entrusted to preserve and protect as well as reduce the risk of damaging wildfires to the park and our neighbors.
While naturally occurring fires were historically ignited by lightning each spring and summer, we do use fire as a tool at other times of the year for specific needs. This year you may notice we are burning in the late fall and winter more than we have traditionally. We prefer to apply fire during the natural time of the year (spring and summer) to maximize the positive benefits to the land and wildlife. Because last year’s drought greatly impacted our ability to safely use prescribed fire and a similar forecast for the spring/summer of 2018, we have decided to take advantage of favorable conditions now and burn areas within the park that have not been burned recently. This will also allow us to be better prepared to burn important areas during the spring and summer. Our long-term focus will continue to be on managing the park in the most natural way for all the plants and animals.
Thank you for your understanding as we strive to protect your state park.