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Adam Putnam Stresses Importance of Prescribed Forest Fires

January 27 begins Florida's "Prescribed Fire Awareness Week," and Agriculture Commissioner is reminding Floridians of theimportance of prescribed forest fires Floridas forest lands and preventing devastating wildfires.

Prescribed fire is a safe way to reduce hazardous fuels on Floridas forest lands, Putnam said in a press release Friday. When ignited, hazardous fuels can lead to or exacerbate wildfires. By reducing buildup of hazardous fuels with prescribed burns, were decreasing the risk of devastating wildfire and protecting thousands of home and business owners across Florida.

Prescribed fire burning provides better forage for wildlife and livestock, returns nutrients to the soil and helps to control certain plant diseases, added Jim Karels, director of the Florida Forest Service.

The release says there are currently more than 1,600 certified prescribed burners in Florida helping to prescribe burn more than 2.3 million acres of agricultural and natural lands annually.

In 2011, the Florida Cabinet designated the fourth Sunday in January as the start of Prescribed Fire Awareness Week.

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