Today and tomorrow Everglades National Park in south Florida expects to burn 31,000 acres in one project. The prescribed fire will be part of their continuing program control exotic species and reduce fuel in the area south of U.S. 41, east of the Shark Valley park entrance.
Equipment to be used on the “River of Grass Northeast” project will include three engines, two helicopters, a single-engine air tanker, and one airboat.
At 2:00 p.m. ET we talked with the park’s information officer, Linda Friar, who said the prescribed fire started at 11:00 a.m. ET and so far was going well. We will post an update to this article later today or tomorrow as the burn progresses.
From the photo below, it appears that personnel flying over the Everglades National Park’s Coastal Prairie Prescribed Fire in May, 2011 were a little casual in their choice of attire. In most government-operated helicopters working on a fire, a helmet and fire resistant clothing would be required. More National Park Service photos from that prescribed fire are on the park’s flickr page. UPDATE: As you can see in the comments below this article, we heard from Rick Anderson, the Fire Management Officer for Everglades National Park, who said:
That photo is Huw Cordry of Wild Horizons LTD, you may know his work from the “Planet Earth” series filming a fire on our coastal prairies. This is not a NPS mission and the ship is private.. Thanks for your comments on aviation safety. Everglades Fire and Aviation flies around 500 missions a year with an excellent safety record. We seek safety in everything we do.