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Forest Fires: The Good, The Bad and Why They're Sometimes Necessary.

Updated: Sep 21, 2019

Florida's Prescribed and Wild Fires Explained.

On the west coast of Florida, they say we have two seasons; the 'rainy season' and the 'dry season' - 'hurricane season' and 'fire season' respectively. During the dry months, March - June we often see both wild fires and prescribed fires. Both are scary, but the latter is a necessary evil so to speak. Prescribed burns, although inconvenient with all the smoke and ash that travels far and wide, actually help to keep us safer from wild fires by burning lots of very dry and hazardous fuel. They also help to eliminate invasive plant species and clear the forests of thick brush, allowing animals more room to move around. Wild fires, on the other hand, often ignite due to a lighting strike or worse, a tossed cigarette or even arson. They can travel quickly and have the ability to cause massive damage. Please do not toss cigarettes out of car windows and always be sure that campfires are completely extinguished with water or sand after use. If there is a large fire nearing your home, remove all flammable debris from the yard and turn on your yard sprinklers or wet down with hose. Then leave.

Download the PulsePoint app to be notified of fires in your area

Marco Patriots leave fire-fighting to the professionals but we will always keep our members updated with air quality, status updates and images provided by our authorized volunteer photographer, Joey Waves.

Below, I've included some content found on and Florida Forestry Service

Wild Fires: "Each year, thousands of acres of wildland and many homes are destroyed by fires that can erupt at any time of the year from a variety of causes, including arson, lightning, and debris burning. Adding to the fire hazard is the growing number of people living in new communities built in areas that were once wildland. This growth places even greater pressure on the state's wildland firefighters. As a result of this growth, fire protection becomes everyone's responsibility."

Observed Daily Fire Indices:

Active Wildfires Dashboard


Fire protection is everyone's responsibility.

Prescribed Burns: "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, wildlife habitat improvement, range management, preservation of endangered plant and animal species and the maintenance of fire-dependent ecosystems.

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 approximately 88,000 authorizations allowing landowners and agencies to prescribe burn an average of over 2.1 million acres each year."

- Florida Forest Service

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