Many of you driving down Highway 79 today probably noticed a large amount of smoke floating up into the sky. Well rest assured it was nothing to be alarmed of.
The Florida Forestry Service decided that today would be the best day to accomplish their prescribed burns, also known as a controlled fire.
There are three main reasons for doing this, First is so animals and other wild life can graze much easier in open spaces. Second, it is a much safer way to achieve what would happen naturally in the form of a wildfire Lastly, it will prevent future wildfires from burning out of control since there will not be as much vegetation to ignite the flames...
Brian Goddin is with the Florida Forest Service. "Our Florida Forest Service burners that were out here today. This crew that is out here today are utilizing fire breaks that are out here on the forest. Many of those are forest roads because fire cannot burn mineral soil or sand so that's our firebreak on some of the sides of the areas that we are burning. We also utilize some of the small streams because fire obviously cannot carry across water. So we try to use natural fire breaks when we can and that’s how we determine which parts and which sections of the park we may burn on that particular day."
Because of the weather conditions, the Florida Forest Service was able to burn 270 acres of land at the Pine Log State Forest.
Other prescribed burns will be seen in the next few weeks in south Walton County, in Bay County at St. Andrew State Park, in Gulf County near Overstreet and in Franklin County east of the Eastpoint area.