Sometimes bigger is better…. Everglades National Park encompasses an ecosystem of over 1.5 million acres. Those acres, many of which are fire adapted, require treatment with fire on a 3-7 year return interval. To do this successfully we often have to think "big box". This week and next we are utilizing fire to reduce fuel loading and knock back exotic plant species across 100,000 acres of coastal prairie lands from Everglades City to Flamingo. Within days of burning we will start to see a healthier and more robust ecosystem bounce back.
“Burning with an audience” Spectators gathered as the crew ignited the garden beds around Headquarters and the Visitor Center. Next time you are visiting the park take a look at what’s growing around the buildings. You will find native plants that are fire adapted and need prescribed fire to stay healthy and in check.
I have conducted prescribed fires near structures, but not THIS close.
Above: Aerial photo of the fire in Blue Cypress Conservation Area, October 24, 2016. Florida Forest Service.
(UPDATED at 1:30 p.m. EDT October 25, 2016)
The Florida Forest Service reported today that the wildfire east of Vero Beach, named the Johnny Marsh Fire, self-extinguished when the grass fire reached willow trees. The estimate of 1,000 acres will be updated after an aerial recon Tuesday afternoon.
The photo below is from Monday.
— FFS Okeechobee (@FFS_Okeechobee) October 24, 2016
(Originally published at 5:14 p.m. EDT October 24, 2016)
The Florida Forest Service is responding to a wildfire in Indian River County in the Blue Cypress Conservation Area 19 miles west of Vero Beach. At 4 p.m. EDT they reported it was about 1,000 acres, and three miles long (north-south) by 1 miles wide.
The fire was reported Sunday evening and continues to grow on Monday.
Jennifer Brown, who has produced at least six excellent short films featuring wildland fire, partnered with the former Fire Management Officer at Everglades National Park, Rick Anderson, to make this video, Burning Florida. The footage was gathered at a prescribed fire last week in the Florida Dry Prairie at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. The film has shots from the air (quadcopter) and ground along with the dedication from Mr. Anderson.
The Florida Forest Service gave WSVN a look at one of their tracked firefighting vehicles.
The fire is burning between the Main Park Road and the Nike Missile Base.
The Long Pine Key Fire, which started on April 10, has burned about 4,709 acres in Everglades National Park in south Florida. It started near Long Pine Key Campground and with 20 mph winds quickly spread through pine rocklands and prairies south of the Main Park Road. It has threatened several park resources and structures and reduced visibility on roads.
A portion of the fire is burning in an area recently treated with a prescribed fire. The reduction in fuels benefits firefighters, making the fire easier to control.
As of April 12, the Main Park Road is open. There is a 2-mile section of the Main Park Road towards Flamingo where cars are being escorted by Law Enforcement rangers. Royal Palm and Flamingo Visitor Centers are open. Research Road and the Nike Missile Base remain closed.