Prescribed burn tomorrow at Guana Lake

The Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve advises local Historic City News readers that tomorrow, weather permitting, 42-acres of the coastal strand and scrub between Guana Lake and South A1A will be part of a controlled burn; located between the south beach access lot and Environmental Education Center.

Friday, November 30 will serve as an alternate date for the ecological prescribed burn along the west side of South Ponte Vedra Boulevard in the event of inclement weather.

“Periodic prescribed burns help to lessen the chances of wildfires by reducing the vegetation and dry debris that serves as fuel,” spokesperson Emily Jane Murray told Historic City News. “Fires also play an important role in promoting new growth in natural communities because the resulting ash provides nutrients that foster new growth.”

The prescribed fire will reintroduce the natural fire cycle to the ecosystems around the Guana River.

Conditions during the burn will include residents of adjacent areas seeing and smelling smoke from the fire as well as motorists and boaters who may be temporarily inconvenienced by the burn activities.

Murray told reporters that the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve has mowed a strip of the vegetation along the highway to significantly reduce the radiant heat and flame heights as well as minimize the potential for property damage.

“Trained and experienced fire personnel have placed fire breaks around the area to contain the flames,” Murray said. “Fire suppression equipment and staff from Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve and its partner agencies will be on site during the burning activity.”

According to Murray, additional safety personal including fire fighters and police officers will also be on hand to help with traffic and fire containment.