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FL Prescribed Fire Awareness Week, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1

Forest fire
Posted at 6:47 PM, Jan 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-29 18:21:57-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - It's Prescribed Fire Awareness Week in Florida - a time to promote the benefits of prescribed fire to the health of Florida's nearly 17 million acres of forestland.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Florida Forest Service, says prescribed fire plays a vital role in preventing devastating wildfires.

"Prescribed fire is a safe way to reduce brush and overgrowth that would otherwise become hazardous fuel for wildfire," said Commissioner Adam Putnam. "By reducing buildup of hazardous fuels with prescribed burns, we're decreasing the risk of devastating wildfire and protecting thousands of home, business and land owners across Florida."

The Florida Forest Service oversees one of the most active prescribed fire programs in the country. In an average year, the Florida Forest Service issues 120,000 authorizations, allowing people and agencies to prescribe burn their land.

In addition, the Department says many of Florida's plant and animal communities are dependent on the regular occurrence of fire for a healthy existence. They say, prescribed fires mimic this natural process and return nutrients to the soil, provide better forage for wildlife and livestock, and help control certain plant and tree diseases.

For statewide forestry updates and information about landowner assistance programs, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com/Forestry.