Lightning-ignited fires kept Florida’s uplands healthy for thousands of years.
Without regular fire, wildlife become scarce as shrubs and small trees shade out native grasses and wildflowers.
Today, land managers mimic natural fire cycles using controlled burns that release nutrients and stimulate seed growth.
Fox squirrels, deer, quail and other wildlife thrive in the renewed groundcover.
Prescribed fire is a safe and important wildlife management tool
Naturally-occurring fires caused by lighting once played a major role in forming and maintaining much of Florida’s pine lands, sandhills, scrub areas, prairies and wetlands. Over time, many wildlife species came to depend on the nourishing vegetation that burst from fire-enriched soils.
Today, the FWC uses safely-controlled prescribed fire techniques to improve and maintain habitats for deer, quail, turkey and many other wildlife species. Some of Florida’s rare, fire-adapted plants and animals that cannot thrive without fire include the red-cockaded woodpecker, fox squirrel, gopher tortoise, indigo snake and Florida scrub-jay.
Visit the following pages and learn more about the benefits of prescribed fire and how FWC conducts a burn.