Where there’s smoke, there could be a prescribed fire

 Smoke billows over a prescribed burn managed by staff at Rookery Bay National Estaurine Research Reserve. COURTESY PHOTO

Smoke billows over a prescribed burn managed by staff at Rookery Bay National Estaurine Research Reserve. COURTESY PHOTOWeather permitting, resource management staff atRookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve will conduct prescribed fires Thursday and Friday, Jan. 21-22, commencing each day at 9 a.m. on Keewaydin Island as well as reserve lands south of Treviso Bay area and nearShell Island Road.

Residents of adjacent areas will see and possibly smell smoke from the fires, and motorists along Shell Island Road might be temporarily inconvenienced.

Rookery Bay staff works with the Florida Forestry Service, land managers and local fire departments to ensure the prescribed fires are conducted safely and are carefully monitored until extinguished.

Prescribed fires are only conducted when weather parameters are suitable. The final decision to burn is made daily, after reviewing the forecast for that day and after obtaining a burn authorization from the Florida Forest Service.

Prescribed burning mimics natural fire cycles to restore healthy forests and natural communities, reduce undergrowth that accumulates over time and decrease the potential for wildfire. Burned lands experience an increase in native wildflowers, birds and other wildlife.

For more information about Rookery Bay Reserve’s prescribed fire program, visit rookerybay.org.

Published by Naples Florida Weekly

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