Prescribed burning by the Florida Park Service
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): R. Mulholland; P. E. Small; B. Blihovde
Publication Year: 2003

Cataloging Information

  • aesthetics
  • air quality
  • Ammodramus savannarum floridanus
  • cover type conversion
  • Dendroctonus frontalis
  • droughts
  • fire dependent species
  • fire equipment
  • fire frequency
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire management
  • firefighting personnel
  • Florida
  • fuel accumulation
  • fuel loading
  • Gopherus polyphemus
  • hardwoods
  • herbicides
  • introduced species
  • JFSP - Joint Fire Science Program
  • lightning
  • logging
  • multiple resource management
  • natural areas management
  • pine forests
  • plant diseases
  • pollution
  • recreation
  • Sarracenia
  • Sciurus niger
  • site treatments
  • slash
  • smoke effects
  • smoke management
  • state parks
  • threatened and endangered species (animals)
  • threatened and endangered species (plants)
  • urban habitats
  • wilderness areas
  • wilderness fire management
  • wildfires
  • wildlife habitat management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 25, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 41331
Tall Timbers Record Number: 16228
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


The Florida Park Service (FPS) manages 490,000 upland acres scattered throughout 158 units. The FPS began burning in 1970 and has placed a strong emphasis on burning during the lightning season. Fire is viewed as a basic ecological necessity for all fire-type communities managed by the FPS, and an attempt is made to use fire on all fire-type acres, regardless of location. In 1986, the FPS had 89,000 acres of fire-type communities to manage. The FPS now manages over 235,000 fire-type acres (164% increase). Current focus is shifting to applying fire at anytime of year to reduce years of fire backlog versus a concentration on lightning season burning. Fire is used to perpetuate communities; to reduce fuel loads; to remove logging slash; to improve habitat for listed species; and to open vistas. Prescribed burning has become more complicated due to an increasing wildland-urban interface, environmental factors such as severe drought and southern pine beetle infestation, and air quality issues including smoke management and pollution levels. FPS has increased personnel training and contributed significant resources to acquiring state of the art fire equipment. FPS uses park staff and volunteers who are not solely dedicated to fire and does not rely on fire management staff. Since 1986, FPS has burned 536,000 acres compared to the 922,000 acres proposed for burning (42% shortfall). Ultimate success remains elusive due to increasing fire-type acreage, decreasing staff, increasingly complicated burns, and shifting priorities pulling staff away from fire programs. FPS remains committed to prescribed fire as it struggles to find ways to accomplish an ever-increasing task with ever-decreasing resources.

Online Link(s):
Mulholland, R., P. E. Small, and B. Blihovde. 2003. Prescribed burning by the Florida Park Service, Second International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress and Fifth Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology, 16-20 November 2003, Orlando, FL [program volume and electronic resource]. American Meteorological Society,Boston, MA. p. 81-82,