The Florida Forest Service through the Forest Protection Bureau oversees one of the most active prescribed fire programs in the country. In an average year the Florida Forest Service will issue 120,000 authorizations allowing people and agencies to prescribe burn their land. An average of over 2 million acres are treated with prescribed fire each year.
PHOTO: Prescribed Fire reduces hazardous fuel buildups and improves habitat for wildlife.
Prescribed fire is one of the most versatile and cost effective tools land managers use. Prescribed fire is used to reduce hazardous fuel buildups, thus providing increased protection to people, their homes and the forest. Other uses include disease control in young pines, improving habitat for wildlife, range management, preservation of endangered plant and animal species and the maintenance of fire dependent ecosystems.
Prescribed fire in Florida is governed by Florida Statutes Chapter 590 and Florida Administrative Code Chapter 5I-2. The Administrative Code also outlines a Certified Burn Manager program which is administered by the Florida Forest Service.
Part of the success of prescribed fire in Florida is the different number of user groups applying this land management tool. These user groups have formed Prescribed Fire Councils across the state to bring together the collective knowledge and skills of these groups, providing a forum for information sharing.
Prescribed fire in Florida is a very important and valuable land management tool. The Florida Forest Service, in an effort to assist those carrying out prescribed burning, has developed two programs to aid prescribed burners. The first is the smoke screening tool which allows persons planning their prescribed burns to plot the burn on a map and see where the smoke from the burn is going to go and if it will impact anywhere that has been designated as a 'smoke sensitive area'. The second is the live fuel moisture readings which can help prescribed burners in their fire behavior predictions and thus better plan their burns.
Prescribed Fire and Certified Burner
Certified Prescribed Burn Managers (CPBM)