Burning brush to prevent fires in Central Florida

Econ River Wilderness Area to close ahead of prescribed burns

The Econ River Wilderness Area closes Monday. Seminole County said it will be closed for about two weeks as crews work to prepare for prescribed burns.

During an interview on Talk to Tom, Allegra Buyer, the Natural Resources Program Coordinator for Seminole County said there are two main reasons for prescribed burns.

She said the first is to prevent catastrophic wildfires.

“If all this burned right now the flame heights would be very high and it would be very hard to control and it would be very hard for firefighters to come in and stop it,” Buyer said.

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But, once crews cut down some of the brush she said crews will be prepared even if lighting did strike.

“We can bring in firetrucks very easily and put up enough water on the fire to control it quickly,” Buyer said.

The other reason is habitats have adapted to it. As crews begin the prescribed burns Buyers said they are mindful of the wildlife that calls the Econ River Wilderness Area home.

“We go slow and we try to give them openings to escape. So, you will see deer running out of a zone or certain reptiles and amphibians. But there’s also I’m sure you’ve seen the gopher tortoises in the wild. They’ll go down into the burrows to stay safe,” Buyer said.

Buyer said crews “try not to do too much at once” so there is still food nearby for returning animals.

To learn more about the temporary closing of the Econ River Wilderness Area, the prescribed burn and how wildlife reacts listen to Talk To Tom. You can watch Talk To Tom on News 6 at 5:30 p.m. or anytime on News 6+.

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Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 3:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.

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