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Forest Service, Partners Join Forces on Prescribed Burn for Healthier Forests in Florida

CNN news and weather anchor Rob Marciano highlights multi-agency partnerships and the benefits of prescribed fire during a visit to Bristol, Fla., hosted by The Nature Conservancy on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. Prescribed fire is integral in improving forest health and is one of the most effective tools used

CNN news and weather anchor Rob Marciano highlights multi-agency partnerships and the benefits of prescribed fire during a visit to Bristol, Fla., hosted by The Nature Conservancy on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. Prescribed fire is integral in improving forest health and is one of the most effective tools used

This summer’s wildland fires in the West have galvanized the nation’s attention and mobilized arsenals of fire-fighting support to bring those fires under control. But there is another type of fire known as prescribed fire which helps make forests and grasslands healthier and protects communities and natural resources including access to clean, abundant water.

Add a number of partners to the exercise and you have a joint prescribed fire event, such as the one that occurred recently when the Forest Service and other partners participated in a prescribed fire on the Nature Conservancy’s Garden of Eden Trail in Bristol, Fla. The National Forests in Florida joined with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Parks and Recreation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to bolster the area’s ecosystem health. The effort also showcased the seamless partnership between the area’s local, state and federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

Firefighters from the National Forests of Florida were asked to participate in the burn because of their fire expertise.

CNN news and weather anchor Rob Marciano highlights multi-agency partnerships and the benefits of prescribed fire during a visit to Bristol, Fla., hosted by The Nature Conservancy on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. Prescribed fire is integral in improving forest health and is one of the most effective tools used in preventing the outbreak and spread of wildfires. (U.S. Forest Service Photo/Susan Blake)

From left, Jennifer Hinckley, U.S. Fish Wildlife Service, and Charlie Gray and Joe Brinson, Apalachicola National Forest, adjust their radio frequencies before a prescribed burn on The Nature Conservancy’s Garden of Eden Trail near Bristol, Fla., on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. The forest works very closely with local, state, tribal and federal firefighters to keep the public safe and natural resources protected. Pooling our strengths, resources and experience improves effectiveness and keeps costs down. (U.S. Forest Service Photo/Susan Blake)

“My hope is that public understands the benefits of burning and the safety precautions we take before ever lighting our touches,” said Charlie Gray, a firefighter from the Apalachicola National Forest.

As news cameras rolled wildland firefighter crews set off about 100 acres of woodland with drip torches while Marciano observed and interviewed fire experts on the process and beneficial effects of prescribed fire.

“I think our viewers will learn a lot from this,” said Rob Marciano, a CNN news and weather anchor who observed the prescribed burn. “I was surprised how, in a prescribed burn situation, that these two elements are the same. The fire burns hot and still moves quickly. I’m amazed at how these experts can predict fire behavior.”

One Response to “Forest Service, Partners Join Forces on Prescribed Burn for Healthier Forests in Florida”

  1. Steve C says:

    Too bad if you work for the wrong branch of the USDA, you can’t work on fire. I have had my red card for 15 years and can not work on prescribe burn unless I take personal leave.

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