The CREW Cypress Dome Trails are getting a Crew cut, like a Buzz cut, with a little left on top. Barbershop metaphors aside, the prescribed burn team uses know-how in the field that inspires confidence, which is exactly what you want when it comes to fire in the forest.
South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) started this most recent round of shredding and prescribed burns at the Cypress Dome Trails, just as summer temperatures start to rise. Their aim is to mimic historic fire conditions and emphasize growing or lightning season burns (April – August). Though weather conditions and smoke sensitive areas make the timing difficult, the burn crew always use sound judgement and experience on the day of the burn.
The majority of natural plant communities rely on frequent fires to maintain their vegetative characteristics and biodiversity. Pine cones and Rain Lilies sprout new life and ground dwelling animals, like the gopher tortoise return to these areas in abundance after a fire. Wildfires no longer occur with historical frequency or extent and this has altered natural wildlife and plant community structure and function.
Prescribed fire are important for wildlife and plants because:
- reduces the amount of vegetation
- opens up space for the native plants to grow and the wildlife to hunt their prey
- adds nutrients to the soil
- prevents wildfires
All Land Stewardship field staff, which we affectionately call the burn crew, have completed the state certified burn course to ensure fire safety and burning efficiency. If you would like to learn more about the CREW management plan you can read about it here: