Prescribed burn today on Paynes Prairie


A prescribed fire crew with Florida State Parks burns a wooded area on the west side of US 441 near the intersection of SE CR 234 just north of Micanopy, Fla., Wednesday, January 16, 2013. "This area would typically burn on its own every couple of years through lightning strikes," said Andi Christman, park biologist at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. "A prescribed burn allows us to select the weather conditions to control the burn. All the fuels in Florida need to burn. This lets it happen on our time rather than waiting for a wildfire."

Erica Brough/Staff photographer
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 12:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 12:45 p.m.

A prescribed burn is being conducted today on Paynes Prairie between Interstate 75 and U.S. 441 and the Florida Highway Patrol has warned drivers to be alert for smoky conditions on the highways especially during the night and early morning hours.

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A prescribed fire crew with Florida State Parks burns a wooded area on the west side of US 441 near the intersection of SE CR 234 just north of Micanopy, Fla., Wednesday, January 16, 2013. "This area would typically burn on its own every couple of years through lightning strikes," said Andi Christman, park biologist at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. "A prescribed burn allows us to select the weather conditions to control the burn. All the fuels in Florida need to burn. This lets it happen on our time rather than waiting for a wildfire."

Erica Brough/Staff photographer

The burn is expected to be completed by sundown today, but smoky conditions in these areas are expected to continue over the next several days.

Drivers in these areas who encounter limited visibility should reduce their speed, watch for advisory signs and use headlights on low beam. Drivers should consider an alternate route if possible.

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