Prescribed Burns Keep Wildfires At Bay

Feb 13, 2015

The Apalachicola National Forest is on fire. But its routine maintenance. A 541-acre parcel near St. Marks Trial is the spot for a prescribed burning.

The process helps to control catastrophic wildfires and reduce the fuel load. U.S. Forest Services firefighter Aaron Edwards, says without prescribed fires, homes close to the forest area will be threatened.

"Our ecosystem is very fire dependent," Edwards says. "So if it doesn’t have fire in it, it won’t be able to replenish itself.

The area of the prescribed burning is a place where wild lands meet the urban area. If a fire were to occur in the forest, it could lead into the city. Jack West, the State Dispatch Center Manager for the National Forest Service says prescribed burns helps keep fires small.

"Because those fuels have already been reduced or already burned and so they won’t immediately burn again or if they do they burn at very low intensity," West says.

Due to the burn, St. Marks Bike Trailhead will be closed today but will reopen tomorrow. Drivers are urged to use caution while driving where it’s foggy.