- Kristina Webb Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
New life already is sprouting from the ground after a prescribed burn at Royal Palm Beach Pines Natural Area about two weeks ago.
The burn, which took place Feb. 1 and covered about 100 acres of the 800-acre preserve, was designed to eliminate much of the dry brush that could serve as fuel should a lightning strike or careless human cause a brush fire, said Harper Carroll, fire manager with Palm Beach County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management.
The area that was burned is bordered to the east by homes in Royal Palm Beach, to the north by an area burned two years ago and to the west and south by an area burned in August.
“The goal of resources management is to create biodiversity, and the way you do that is by creating a mosaic,” Carroll said.
“There’s a technique, there’s a science and there’s an art to it as well.”
Residents in the western communities can expect more prescribed burns in the future as the county continues its work to prevent brush fires, Carroll said. He noted that in planning, crews are sensitive to where smoke travels. They avoid burning areas close to schools on weekdays, and they also are sensitive to large events, he said.
“Especially in the urban areas we’re really threading the needle with what we can do with smoke,” Carroll said.
For more information on the county’s prescribed burns program, go to discover.pbcgov.org/erm.