The State Division of Forestry will perform a prescribed burn at Balu Forest in the area surrounding the intersection of SR 26 and SR 301 near Orange Heights beginning shortly after 11:00 a.m., December 14, 2005. Balu Forest is a property owned by Alachua County and managed as a pine forest restoration project. Part of the project requires periodic prescribed burns. These burns are extremely weather dependant; conditions must be perfect in order to safely and efficiently complete the task. This is the reason for the short notice of this release.
The boundaries for the burn are as follows:
North – 3 miles north of the intersection of SR 26 and SR 301
South – 1 mile south of the intersection of SR26 and SR 301
East – 1 mile east of the intersection of SR 26 and SR 301
West – 1 mile west of the intersection of SR 26 and SR 301
Prescribed burning is a necessary part of the management of Balu Forest and provides many benefits such as protecting neighboring property from wildfires, preparing the site for planting trees, preventing damaging effects of wildfires and encouraging growth of plants beneficial to wildlife.
This burning is being performed by the State Division of Forestry in conjunction with Columbia Timber Company and Alachua County. Citizens may notice some smoke as a result of the fires, but all necessary equipment and staff to manage this operation will be on site throughout the burn.
For additional information citizens can contact Jeff Roller of Alachua County’s Waste Management Division at (352) 374-5213.