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Prescribed burn planned on Lake Okeechobee

Lake O map showing area of prescribed burn
Media contact: Ryan Sheets, 727-282-7642 or Release Date: 02-28-2023   All Articles Tags:

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), in coordination with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), plan to conduct a prescribed burn in the Northwest Marsh on the north side of Lake Okeechobee this week, weather permitting. All burn activities will be reviewed and authorized by the Florida Forest Service. The burn area is approximately 200 acres, which includes cattail that was managed with herbicide in October 2022, along with adjacent green cattail and other associated vegetation.

To help protect public health and safety, the FWC plans to conduct the prescribed burn under wind and weather conditions that minimize smoke impacts to nearby towns and roads. Access to navigational trails through the marsh might be limited temporarily during the burn for safety reasons. If the prescribed burn needs to be rescheduled due to weather conditions, the burn will be conducted in the near future.

Application of prescribed burning is part of an integrated management approach on Lake Okeechobee, Florida’s largest lake. Lake Okeechobee is managed in partnership with the FWC, SFWMD, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Audubon of Florida.

Prescribed burning is a safe way to apply natural processes, ensure ecosystem health and reduce the threat of wildfire. Ecologically responsible prescribed burns help improve habitat for fish, waterfowl, wading birds, the endangered Everglade snail kite and other wildlife populations.

For more information, contact the FWC’s Okeechobee Field Office at 863-462-5190. Learn about prescribed fire by going to, clicking on “Wildlife & Habitats” and then “Prescribed Fire.” On that page, you can find information about how prescribed burns benefit wildlife and people.