Prescribed burn planned for Thurs at state park


INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — For the second time this month, officials will conduct a prescribed burn – visible to motorists – at a state park.

Park officials will scorch about 1,000 acres of pine flatwoods Thursday at St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park. The burn will be held from 10:30 a.m. to about 3 p.m., Park Manager Dylan Gavagni said.

Smoke will still be visible until sunset, Gavagni said.

Prescribed burns help prevent uncontrollable wildfires by mimicking natural fire cycles that restore healthy forests and reduce undergrowth that builds up overtime, officials said. The burned lands experience an increase in native wildflowers, birds and other wildlife.

The burn will be held in the northeastern section of the park and about 50 yards from the interstate, officials said. The state park stretches from southern Brevard County to northern Indian River County.

Motorists on Interstate 95 will be able to see the smoke and flames not far from mile marker 160 to mile marker 163, officials said.

The controlled fires are only done when weather conditions are favorable. Burners must first get authorization from Florida Forest Service.

The decision to conduct prescribed burns are made daily.

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