You may have noticed smoke in Bay County on Friday. However, there's no reason to be concerned. St. Andrews State Park rangers are giving the park a makeover. Rangers are burning sections to help the ecosystem.
Weather is key when it comes to planning prescribed fires. It was a little cold to sit on the beach Friday but perfect conditions to set "good" fires.
Rangers are trying to mimic what mother nature does. A lot of Florida vegetation needs to be burned in order to reproduce.
They also want to reduce the dead fuel, such as fallen trees, pine cones, and things that catch fire quickly. If something like lighting were to strike, there's less dead vegetation on the ground.
Since the park is near several neighborhoods and major roads, rangers need ideal weather conditions.
"We're looking at smoke screening and smoke management to be able to put the smoke in a direction that puts it over the water, keeps it inside the park . . . where it's not going to harm anything," said Brian Addison, state park manager.
Park rangers hope to burn one or two more areas next week if weather allows. They also say the burned area could begin regrowing in as few as seven days.