Prescribed burn planned on Lake Okeechobee
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), in coordination with the South Florida Water Management District, plans to conduct a prescribed burn in Moonshine Bay Marsh on the west 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 1,500 to 1,700 acres and includes 582 acres of cattail that was managed with herbicide in November 2020 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 may 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 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 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 MyFWC.com, clicking on “Wildlife & Habitats” and then “Prescribed Fire.” On that page, you can find information about how prescribed burns benefit wildlife and people.