SFWMD, FWC, Florida Forest Service and USACE planning prescribed burn on Lake Okeechobee

MOORE HAVEN — In an effort to manage vegetation and restore habitat in Lake Okeechobee, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida Forest Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are planning two prescribed burns on the southwest shore of the lake this week.

On March 4, the agencies plan to burn 15,884 acres from Grass Island to Cochran’s pass near Clewiston.

On March 5, the agencies plan to burn 19,618 acres near Moore Haven Marsh.

To help protect the public health and safety, the agencies plan to conduct the prescribed burns under weather conditions that minimize smoke impacts to nearby communities and roads. Access to navigational trails through the marsh may be limited temporarily during the burns for safety reasons. If weather conditions are not conducive, the prescribed burns will be postponed.

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

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