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Friday, April 19, 2024

3,300-acre prescribed burn in Goethe State Forest on Jan. 29

The Florida Forest Service will be kicking off Fire Awareness Week on Monday, January 29 with a 3,300-acre prescribed burn in the area of the Goethe State Forest in Levy County.

According to the Florida Forest Service, a helicopter will be used to ignite the planned burn alongside crews on the ground. The Apex Trailhead at Goethe State Forest will be closed for the duration of the burn.

The burn area is located south of State Road 121, west of County Road 337, north of County Road 336, and east of U.S. Highway 19. The Florida Forest Service stated in a media release that smoke is not predicted to impact any roadways, and there are currently no road closures planned during the burn.

Those who are in the southern portion of Goethe State Forest during the upcoming week should be prepared to encounter smoke, fire personnel, and fire equipment.

“If you encounter smoke on the roads, lower your speed, turn on your low beams, and remain vigilant,” stated the Florida Forest Service.

The prescribed burn on Monday will take place during the state’s annual Prescribed Fire Awareness Week (January 28 through February 3), which highlights the importance and benefits of prescribed burning in Florida’s lands and forests.

Last year, the Florida Forest Service administered the largest and most active prescribed fire program in the nation, issuing 85,000 open burn authorizations for public and private land managers to treat over two million acres with prescribed fire. More than 157,000 of those acres were burned on state forest lands.

In the media release, the Florida Service highlighted that nearly 50% of Florida is made up of forests, which are one of the state’s top agricultural commodities. “Managing these forests is essential to powering Florida’s economy, sustaining the ecosystem, and supporting the state’s infrastructure. Florida’s landscape is a fire-adapted ecosystem, depending on recurring fire to renew the forest and habitats that support native plants and animals.”

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages over one million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. In addition, they are also responsible for protecting homes, forestland, and natural resources from the effects of wildfire on over 26 million acres.

For more information, visit the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service webpage.