Florida Agriculture Commissioner Announces Prescribed Fire Awareness Week

January 25, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam  has announced today the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service will actively promote and encourage the use of prescribed fires in recognition of Prescribed Fire Awareness Week to run through Saturday.

“Prescribed burning is the most effective way to minimize the risk of wildfire in our state,” Commissioner Putnam said. “Prescribed fires protect Florida homes, forests and natural resources and are a critical component of our efforts to effectively manage what is forecasted to be an active wildfire season.”

Across the state, the department’s local Florida Forest Service field offices are hosting events to educate the public on the importance of prescribed burning, which decreases hazardous ground fuels, reduces wildfire risk, promotes healthy forests and improves wildlife habitats.

“It is important to remember that prescribed fire is a natural process that has been around for centuries,” said Jim Karels, director of the department’s Florida Forest Service.

Prescribed burning is also a cost-effective tool used by land managers to provide proper habitats for many of Florida’s endangered and threatened species, control disease in trees, reduce pest problems and eradicate invasive species.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service is the lead prescribed fire agency in Florida, offering training and Certified Prescribed Burner certifications to the public. On average, the department will issue more than 120,000 prescribed burn authorizations to burn over two million acres each year.

For more information about prescribed fire, visit www.goodfires.org


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