Prescribed fires are conducted on Sanibel to assist land managers in preserving natural habitats on conservation lands. SCCF's prescribed fire crew and burn bosses are trained and certified in wildland firefighting by the Florida Forest Service. SCCF is a partner of the Sanibel Prescribed Fire Task Force with partners from the City of Sanibel, Florida Forest Service, the Sanibel Fire Department, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Public safety and the protection of private property are the main concerns for burn bosses. It takes months of preparation to get a parcel ready to be burned. The task force ensures that the public is notified with plenty of advanced warning. For the prescribed fire to actually happen on any given day, the atmospheric conditions must fit a very narrow range for a permit from the Florida Forest Service to be issued.
Why We Burn
- Much of Sanibel is a pyrogenic ecosystem, meaning it historically had a natural fire regime that kept the environment in balance
- To reduce dead vegetation that builds up in the habitat and serves as fuel
- To promote the growth of native plant species through nutrient cycling and increased seed production, while inhibiting invasive species
- To enhance aesthetics and wildlife foraging by promoting new and healthy growth of native vegetation and reducing invasive vegetation