Gulf Islands National Seashore Plans Prescribed Burns for the Naval Live Oaks
Contact: Nina Kelson, 850-934-2604
Gulf Islands National Seashore Plans Prescribed Burns for the Naval Live Oaks Area
Superintendent Dan Brown announced today that during the week of May 14, or possibly later into the spring and summer of 2012, Gulf Islands National Seashore plans to conduct two controlled burns within the Naval Live Oaks Area. Because of the smoke and fog issues which occurred during last year's burn, Superintendent Brown advises that the Park will be taking extra measures to ensure that a similar incident does not occur.
In March 2011, a total of 216 acres were burned.During the night after the burn, unpredicted fog occurred and, mixed with smoke, resulted in the closure of Highway 98 through the Naval Lives Oaks Area for several days.This year the Park will burn two small blocks, one 25 acres and one 30 acres (see Burn Blocks 4A and 7A on the attached map), which will result in less smoke and only ground ignition will be utilized.Both of these measures will provide maximum control of the burn areas. "We will also benefit from the knowledge and expertise of a National Park Service Meteorologist, who will assist in evaluating the forecast, including fog indices, before the burn begins," said Brown.
Recent wildland fire seasons have been extreme serving as a reminder that fire is a natural phenomenon and measures taken in advance can prevent and/or minimize wildfires from spreading.By putting fire back into the system in a controlled manner, the chances of a destructive wildfire are minimized.The Park remains committed to the prescribed fire program in order to minimize the risk to life, property and resources in the event of a wildfire from a lightning strike or incidental human causes. Another benefit of introducing fire into the ecosystem is to improve wildlife habitat.
The exact date and time for the prescribed burns will be primarily dependent upon weather factors, and the burns will only be conducted if the conditions are right.Park officials expect that due to humidity levels, burning will most likely begin around 10 a.m. and end by around 4:00 p.m. on the day(s) of the burn. Once a date for the prescribed burn is selected, the local news media and Park neighbors will be contacted.
Any public inquiries should be directed to the Gulf Islands National Seashore Superintendent's Office at (850) 934-2604, or by email at GUIS_Superintendent@nps.gov.
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Did You Know?
Of the seven species of sea turtles, four species nest at Gulf Islands National Seashore. Sea turtle hatchlings instinctively head for areas of brighter light. Artificial lighting causes thousands of hatchling deaths each year.