Florida Forest Service Receives Wildfire Mitigation Fire Service Leadership Award
By Space Coast Daily // January 25, 2016
manages more than one million acres
The Florida Forest Service received the Wildfire Mitigation Fire Service Leadership award for its record-breaking prescribed fire program.
This award comes just as Florida recognizes Prescribed Fire Awareness Week, which is from Jan. 24 through Jan. 30.
The Wildfire Mitigation Awards are the highest commendation for innovation and leadership in wildfire preparedness and mitigation.
The award is presented by the National Association of State Foresters, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fire Protection Association and the USDA Forest Service.
“The Florida Forest Service has worked tirelessly to protect Florida’s citizens, natural habitats, and property through its prescribed fire program, and it is wonderful to see the Florida Forest Service recognized as a model for the nation,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.
During the previous year, the Florida Forest Service treated more than 246,000 acres of state forests with prescribed fire, the highest number ever reported by a state forestry agency in United States history.
In addition to its efforts on state forest lands, the Florida Forest Service also oversees the issuance of prescribed burning authorizations and administers Florida’s Certified Prescribed Burn Manager program.
Currently, there are more than 1,600 certified prescribed burn managers who manage more than 2.3 million acres of agricultural and natural lands annually with prescribed fire.
“The Florida Forest Service has developed a prescribed fire program that encompasses a long-term, sustained approach to reducing wildfire risk, providing for resiliency across Florida’s landscapes and keeping our forests healthy,” said Jim Karels, Florida State Forester.
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than one million acres of public forest land while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire.
To learn more about Florida Forest Service programs, visit FloridaForestService.com