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Contact: Brent Everitt, 850-934-2612
Contact: Dan Brown, 850-934-2600Gulf Breeze, FL – Gulf Islands National Seashore officials plan to conduct controlled burns within the Naval Live Oaks Area near Gulf Breeze, Florida tomorrow February 17, 2017. Controlled burns are weather dependent. Longleaf pine areas of Naval Live Oaks depend on regular fire to maintain this ecosystem type, which is important for gopher tortoises and many other species.
The national seashore has developed smaller burn blocks, to mitigate any potential road impacts similar to those which occurred in March 2011. Ground ignition will be used to limit smoke and help provide maximum control of the burn areas. The seashore is also incorporating additional meteorological data, and only conducting the burn when very specific conditions are met.
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 system in a controlled manner minimizes the chances of a destructive wildfire. The seashore is committed to the prescribed fire program to curtail the risk to life, property, and resources in the event of a wildfire from a lightning strike or incidental human causes. The seashore is also dedicated to the wildlife and habitat protected by regular burning.
This activity will take place only if specific conditions are right, and the proper personnel are present. The exact date and time for the prescribed burns will be primarily dependent upon weather factors. If the burn does take place, the park’s website and social media accounts will be updated, and information will be posted on electronic reader boards placed along Highway 98 within the park boundary. Officials expect burning to most likely begin around 10:00 am and end by around 4:00 pm tomorrow.
About Gulf Islands National Seashore: Created in 1971, the national seashore stretches 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and Mississippi, and includes barrier islands, maritime forests, historic forts, bayous, and marine habitat. Visit us at www.nps.gov/guis, on Facebook www.facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/GulfIslands_NPS, and Instagram www.Instagram.com/GulfIslandsNPS.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice and Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice.