Fire is a natural and neccessary force that plays a vital role in maintaining habitat and ecosystem diversity when used under the right conditions. Everglades Fire & Aviation Management follows a comprehensive management plan that utilizes wildfire and prescribed fire to help restore natural fire regime levels and natural processes while allowing for firefighter and public safety.
In 2017, Fire Management successfully managed 27 wildfires. Of these wildfires, 14 were started by lightning, 9 were human caused, and 4 of these were mutual aid fires, that is, fires outside of NPS boundary which cooperators asked for Everglades assistance. These 27 wildfires, burning under adverse conditions, had the potential to spread rapidly through the dense, continuous fuels in the area. The quick response of Everglades firefighters decreased the threat to surrounding park and community values such as airboat concessionaires, major highways, and threatened and endangered species.
Additionally, Fire Management was able to utilize 16 prescribed burns to treat 118,054 acres within the park. Prescribed burning is completed under predesignated weather and fuel conditions, and often the window to complete the treatment is very small, making it neccessary to burn large areas in a quick period of time. Utilizing both aviation and ground resources, Everglades Fire Management and various Burn Bosses were able to successfully implement these treatments. These prescribed burns were used as a tool to complete a variety of tasks, including hazardous fuel reduction, water restoration, wildland urban interface, and ecosystem management.
Last updated: November 7, 2017