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Prescribed burn planned for Wed at state park

Residents and motorists on Interstate 95 will likely see smoke Wednesday from a 1,000-acre prescribed burn at St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, officials said.

The controlled burn will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Park Manager Dylan Gavagni said. Gavagni said motorists will still see smoke until sunset.

Prescribed burns help to prevent uncontrollable wildfires. The burns mimic natural fire cycles to restore healthy forests and reduce undergrowth that builds up overtime, officials said.

The traditional fire season for Florida runs from mid-November to mid-July, Gavagni said.

Wednesday’s burn will occur in the northeastern part of St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park. The park stretches from southern Brevard County to northern Indian River County.

Park officials will scorch pine flatwoods about 50 yards from the interstate, Gavagni said. Burned lands experience an increase in native wildflowers, birds and other wildlife, officials said.

Prescribed fires are only performed when weather conditions are favorable. The decision to conduct the controlled fires are made daily after the burners get authorization from Florida Forest Service.


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