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Contact: General Park Information , 305-242-7700
Contact: Media Contact - Linda friar, 305-242-7714
Contact: Fire Information Officer - Rudy Evenson, 770-722-5417
Everglades National Park's prescribed burn began this morning at 9:30 am with a briefing by Gary Carnall, Fire Burn Boss, to approximately 30 firefighters and other operational support who would manage the fire, including operators of2 helicopters, 2 engines, 1 SEAT,as part of the managed burn operation.At noon, a test ignition was conducted at the southeast corner of the targeted 31,000 acre area.From there firefighters continued ignition along the southern boundary of the targeted area and then north adjacent to the parks tram road.
Weather conditions remain favorable for this operation and visitors.Later this evening residents of Homestead or south Kendall are likely to see smoke and possibly some light ash from the fire.This is not unusual and should not cause concern.
Rick Anderson, Fire Management Officer, said this morning "This is an important fire operation as much of this area hasn't been burned since 1960's. In the Everglades long unburned areas such as this can create wildfire risks to the public. This fire will reduce the potential for significant wildfire in the future by reducing potential fuel (old vegetation).Prescribed burns are used regularly in resource management at Everglades National Park to refresh the ecosystem by stimulating new growth.Information on the fire management program at the park can be found on the park website at http://www.nps.gov/ever/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.