Information provided by the Gulf Islands National Seashore
Gulf Islands National Seashore plans to conduct prescribed burns within the Naval Live Oaks Area near Gulf Breeze, Florida, on April 20, 21, and 22, 2023. Find a view of the map online at https://www.santarosa.fl.gov/DocumentCenter/View/7001/NLO_FY23_Burn_Units.
The planned burns are scheduled to take place around 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. but will only occur if specific conditions are met. The park will review the conditions on the morning of each potential burn day to determine if the burn will take place.
Longleaf pine flatwood habitats in the Naval Live Oaks Area depend upon regular fire to maintain this ecosystem type, which is important for several protected species including the gopher tortoise. The national seashore has developed small burn blocks, to mitigate potential community impacts. Ground ignition will be used to limit smoke and help provide maximum control of the burn areas. Park visitors may experience minor smoke impacts and possibly short-term road closures necessary for the safety of visitors, firefighters, and equipment. However, we do not anticipate any closures of Highway 98.
Recent wildland fire seasons have been extreme, serving as a reminder that fire is a natural process and proactive measures can diminish the possibility or prevent wildfires from spreading. Introducing fire into the ecosystem, through the seashore’s prescribed fire program can help curtail the risk to life, property, and resources in the event of a wildfire caused by a lightning strike or incidental human cause. Beyond preventative measures, fire can benefit wildlife and their habitat.
For current closure information visit: www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/tempclosures.htm.
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