Everglades National Park has produced another excellent video about their prescribed fire program. You may have seen one of their others, River of Grass, by then National Park Service employee Jennifer Brown, who now has her own video production company, Into Nature Films. Ms. Brown made this video as well, working with Fire Management Officer/Executive Producer Rick Anderson.
Here is the description of this video:
“National Park Service managers conduct a prescribed fire in cooperation with Boy Scouts of America. Camp Everglades is in the Pine Rocklands of Everglades National Park. This active Boy Scout Camp is in a fire dependent pine forest. Plants and animals that live in this rare and imperiled forest have adapted to frequent fires that are ignited by the abundant lightning that visits the land during summer storms. Humans may have used fire in this area to stimulate the growth of fresh green shoots in this otherwise nutrient poor forest. Coontie, a primitive plant who’s roots were processed to make a starch-rich bread by Native peoples and Florida pioneers, responds well to frequent fire. Everglades fire managers work with the Boy Scouts to reduce accumulations of brush and other flammable vegetation to reduce the threat of severe unplanned wildfires.”
These photos were taken by Cass Palmer, the Incident Commander of the Huckabee Fire which is burning in Big Cypress National Preserve in south Florida. Mr. Palmer is an employee of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and is a Fire Management Officer for that agency. We wrote about the fire earlier.
The Huckabee Fire 26 miles east of Naples, Florida continued to require intermittent closures of Interstate 75 overnight due to smoke and fog, but it reopened Monday morning. Burning in Big Cypress National Preserve, the fire has blackened 20,000 acres and is 40% contained, according to Cass Palmer, the Incident Commander of a Type 3 incident management team running the fire.
On Sunday firefighters conducted a 4,000-acre burnout which reduced the visibility on the Interstate and required a temporary closure. A minor accident on the highway was managed as an incident within an incident by the Florida Highway Patrol.
Firefighters have observed the fire spreading at 80 to 100 chains per hour (5,280 to 6,600 feet per hour) and spot fires up to 600 feet ahead. A large Type 1 helicopter and a Hotshot crew arrived at the fire Sunday.
According to the Incident Status Summary, the Incident Commander expects to fully contain the fire on Monday, April 1.
(Originally published at 9:29 p.m. ET, March 31, 2013)
A wildfire in Big Cypress National Preserve has forced the closure of Interstate 75 in Alligator Alley. As of 1 p.m. ET the Huckabee Fire 26 miles east of Naples, Florida had burned 16,000 acres since it started 48 hours earlier. The fire is 10 percent contained and the cause is described as suspicious by the staff of the Preserve.
I checked the weather at the Panther East automatic weather station 2.5 miles northwest of the fire and the conditions have not been extreme. The temperature on Sunday ranged from an overnight low of 47° to a high of 86°. The minimum relative humidity on Sunday was 37 percent, which is a little low for south Florida. The wind has been 8 mph out of the southwest with gusts to 15.
This is a time-lapse video (spanning over 2 hours) of a dormant season prescribed fire in a mixed longleaf pine / slash pine flatwoods stand in the University of Florida Austin Cary Forest near Gainesville, Florida. This particular stand within the forest is burned on an annual basis during the months of January and February to demonstrate the influence of burn season on vegetative composition, fuel characteristics, and fire behavior. The burn was conducted in January 2013 by Austin Cary Forest Staff along with University of Florida faculty, staff, and students from the 2013 Fire Ecology and Management class.
On Tuesday WESH Chopper 2 was streaming live video of a vegetation fire in Port Orange, Florida, near Daytona Beach (map). The fire was in a strip of trees between a lake and a subdivision. Adjacent to the vegetation were numerous cul-de-sacs, and parked in each one were at least two fire engines, usually a brush engine and a large structure engine. These images are screen grabs from the live video.
Areas of Texas and Florida are under Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches today. In Texas the Red Flag Warning is in effect until 8 p.m. on Tuesday due to windy and dry conditions. In Florida the Red Flag Warnings are valid until 6 p.m. for St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler, and Marion counties, and until 7 p.m. in Polk County
The map above was current as of 2:50 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts. For the most current data, visit this NWS site.