INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Residents and motorists might see or smell smoke from a 1,400-acre prescribed burn Wednesday at a state park.
Officials conducted the burn in the northeast portion of St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park. The controlled burn of mostly pine flatwoods was held from about 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Park Manager Dylan Gavagni said.
The park stretches from southern Brevard County to northern Indian River County.
Prescribed burns help mimic natural fire cycles to prevent uncontrollable wildfires, park officials said. The burns help restore healthy forests and natural communities and reduce undergrowth that builds up overtime.
Park officials said motorists will likely smell smoke east of Interstate 95. Smoke advisories will be posted.
Gavagni said the smoke should be clear by nightfall.
He also noted that three small wildfires – about 10 acres each – sparked in the prescribed burn area at the park overnight. The small fires, caused by lightning, scorched for several hours before burning themselves out.
Burned lands experience growth in native wildflowers, birds and other wildlife.
Prescribed fires are only conducted when weather conditions are favorable. Those who want to have prescribed burns must first get a burn authorization from the Florida Forest Service.