Big Cypress has five main vegetation types that we consider when it comes to fire management:
Mixed Grass Prairie
Mixed Hardwood Hammocks
One-hour fuels (grasses and other fine fuels) are a major component of the fire environment in south Florida. Palmetto and wax myrtle are shrub species that also contribute to the fire behavior. The volatile makeup of these species allows them to burn year round, with varying degrees of intensity. These fuels can burn readily with an relative humidity of 57 percent and wind speed of 7 mph. The least extreme fire behavior is experienced in the late summer months when there is hydrologic sheet flow throughout the Preserve. During this time there is standing water in most of the vegetation types.
Wet season (July – October)
Dry season (March – May)
Season transition (November – February & June)
Human caused fire season typically coincides with dry season and increased recreational activity. Lightning fire season can range from April through August. In the early years of the Preserve, wildfires were human caused during the winter. Presently, human caused fires are during the driest months of March – June.
Did You Know?
Mermaid sightings have been reported by sailors throughout history who often blamed the part-woman, part-fish beings for leading them astray. But folklore experts believe that what those sailors were seeing were not mermaids, but rather air-breathing manatees, or their dugong relatives. More...