The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be conducting two prescribed burns in the Lower Keys this week.
The first burn will be Thursday, Oct. 14, possibly between 3 and 4 p.m., off the end of Crane Boulevard on Upper Sugarloaf Key. The second burn will be around noon on Friday, Oct. 15, on uninhabited Little Pine Key, said Brian Pippin, of the Fish and Wildlife Service.
The burns will not be close to homes, but residents may see or smell smoke.
The primary reasons for conducting these burns are to remove the over-accumulation of vegetation acting as fire fuel along the area’s wildland-urban interface to protect private property and residents, and for ecological purposes aimed at mimicking a natural fire in the pine rockland habitat. This activity creates a defensible space between refuge lands and private property that helps to prevent or reduce the threat of wildfires by reducing fuel loads.