Prescribed Burn Planned on Lake Okeechobee

OKEECHOBEE — A prescribed burn will be conducted on 1,000 acres of Lake Okeechobee in the Pearce Canal area on Thursday, Jan. 10, to improve fish and wildlife habitat on the lake.

This will be done as a joint effort by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), with SFWMD acting as the prescribed burn manager and the FWC and USACE assisting.

To help protect public health and safety, the agencies plan to conduct the prescribed burn under weather conditions that minimize smoke impacts to nearby towns and roads. Access to navigational trails through the marsh may be limited temporarily during the burn for safety reasons. If the prescribed burn needs to be rescheduled due to weather conditions, the burn will be conducted later in the week.

Application of prescribed burning is part of an integrated management approach on Lake Okeechobee, Florida’s largest lake. Lake Okeechobee is managed in partnership with the FWC, USACE, SFWMD and Audubon of Florida.

Prescribed burning is a safe way to apply natural processes, ensure ecosystem health and reduce the threat of wildfire. Ecologically responsible prescribed burns help improve habitat for fish, waterfowl, wading birds, the Everglades snail kite and other wildlife populations.

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