'Tis the season for Prescribed Fire!

Our longleaf pine flatwoods ecosystem depends on the regular occurrence of fire. We are watching weather conditions, with plans to burn in the coming weeks. We will send another notification once we determine the actual date. This is a one-day occurrence. 

During the Burn, we will be closed to all visitors. No one except staff and crew is permitted to enter. This is for the safety of all. We will re-open the following day. However, staff will be available to answer the phones and respond to emails as usual. All activities will take the utmost care to not disturb our burial sites.

Planning for our Prescribed Burn depends on weather conditions and other factors. We often don’t know until the day before if we will burn, so your patience and flexibility are greatly appreciated. Weather also changes and can cause us to postpone at the last minute. Please check our Facebook page or give us a call to get the most up-to-date information on our closings. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Prescribed Fire (also called “Control Burn”) at Heartwood Preserve is authorized by the Florida Forestry Service (FFS) and managed by our own FFS certified prescribed burn manager and experienced burn crew. Pasco Fire Department is notified once we receive our FFS authorization on the day of the burn, and signs are posted along Starkey Boulevard to notify the public passing by.

What to expect after the burn
Because we burn during the growing season (Spring / Summer), the forest rebounds very quickly after the fire. Yes, the ground will be black with char for a short time. But thanks to our frequent summer rain showers, grass begins to sprout within days, the palmettos come back in a matter of weeks. After a month or 2, you will hardly notice there has been a fire. The forest is rejuvenated and vibrant. We like to think of it as a Spa Day for the forest!

Things to Know About Prescribed Fire
Prescribed Fire serves several ecological purposes.
  • Reduces the amount of “fuel” (branches, twigs, leaves) that can make fires burn too intensely
  • Converts organic matter into nutrients and minerals to be absorbed by the living plants
  • Stimulates new growth following the burn, providing food for wildlife
  • Maintains an open understory, exposing the soil to allow seeds to germinate, spurring new trees, shrubs and wildflowers.
Following our burn, we will plan a special tour of the burn areas, so you can see for yourself the amazing and transformative effects of nature’s most incredible of tools: fire.

If you want more information or have any questions, please call or email us. You can also check out our website to learn more about the importance of fire on this unique landscape. http://heartwoodpreserve.com/nature-preserve/
Thank you,
Laura Starkey

Posted: 6/19/2019
Heartwood Preserve
(727) 376-5111