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Prescribed burn planned for Keys state park Tuesday

Terrance Gadson, Florida area supervisor for the Florida Forest Service, talks to a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue firefighter as a brush fire crosses from one side of Card Sound Road to the other Wednesday, Feb.14. The Department of Environmental Protection is planning a prescribed burn at Curry Hammock State Park near Marathon, in part, to avoid similar brush fires. .
Terrance Gadson, Florida area supervisor for the Florida Forest Service, talks to a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue firefighter as a brush fire crosses from one side of Card Sound Road to the other Wednesday, Feb.14. The Department of Environmental Protection is planning a prescribed burn at Curry Hammock State Park near Marathon, in part, to avoid similar brush fires. .

If you notice the smell of smoke in the air Tuesday in the Middle Keys, there’s likely no reason to be alarmed.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled a prescribed burn at Curry Hammock State Park on the ocean side of U.S 1, mile marker 56, near Marathon.

The DEP announced Monday it plans to burn about 9 acres of brush just north of the highway.

“Prescribed burning mimics natural cycles to restore healthy forests and natural communities, reduce undergrowth that accumulates over time and decreases the potential for wildfire,” Miranda Cunningham, DEP environmental specialist, said in a statement. “Burned lands experience an increase in native wildflowers, birds and other wildlife.”

Although the burn is planned, the Florida Fire Service makes the final call and could delay it, depending on the weather, Cunningham said.

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