Prescribed fire today at Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve in Alachua County

The St. Johns River Water Management District is conducting a 119-acre prescribed burn Tuesday at Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve. The red trail is temporarily closed for the duration of the burn. The purpose of the burn is to maintain fire-dependent ecosystems and reduce wildland fuel loads.

Prescribed fire is the use of carefully planned fire purposefully set under stringent conditions to manage the fire’s effects. Before conducting a burn, the district ensures that wind and other weather conditions are correct for managing the fire and minimizing the impacts of smoke to residents and traffic.

Periodic prescribed fires on district lands enhance the land’s environmental quality and protect its neighbors from destructive wildfires, but not without the possibility of temporary nuisances, such as smoke and ash.

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Prescribed fires help prevent wildfires by burning off fuels that naturally build up over time, while also helping to manage the growth of woody shrubs.

In fire-dependent ecosystems, fire is as nearly as important as rainfall and sunshine. The benefits of prescribed fire include restoring and maintaining natural communities, reducing chances of destructive wildfires, perpetuating fire-adapted plants and animals, cycling nutrients, managing tree diseases and opening scenic vistas.

Follow the district on social media to know when prescribed burns are taking place in your area. To learn more about the district’s prescribed burn program, visit the district online at

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