Why do we use prescribed fire?
- Community protection: Florida leads the nation in the use of prescribed fire. By clearing out overgrowth, prescribed fire reduces the risk for catastrophic wildfires and the subsequent devastation to communities.
- Firefighter protection: Because prescribed fires clear out overgrowth, they help ensure that any wildfires that occur in areas that have been recently prescribed burned are less severe and easier for firefighters to control.
- Protection of wildlife that depend on fire: Because of adaptations developed in close association with fire over thousands of years, some animal species depend on periodic fire. Many of these species have become threatened or endangered because of the exclusion of fire.
- Protection of native habitats: Prescribed fire provides openings in the vegetation that many species need, improves nutrient availability as well as fresh plant growth. The practice also controls insects such as ticks and diseases like brownspot fungal infection, which can kill young longleaf pine trees.