There are so many things to see when you travel. We left our campsite early one morning and noticed smoke hovering over St. George Island.
Forest fires are common in Florida. Wild fires ravaged the swamps and land for centuries before the area was settled. The thick dry brush is ignited by lightning. The fires kept the brush low and allowed animals to find food and shelter.
The federal government decided they knew better than nature and insisted all forest fires be fought until extinguished. This national policy resulted in millions of acres being prime for huge fires. Firefighters lost their lives when the brush exploded in violent bursts. Finally the policy changed to clearing brush by cutting, and in many areas, by controlled burns.
The park rangers were in the process of controlled burning of the overgrowth. This is important for the safety of the residents. St. George Island is on the North American bird migration route and the birds managed before people when the barrier island was swept by natural burning every four or five years.
The rangers burn in controlled sections when the wind and humidity are right. Over the course of several years all the wild sections are burned to spurt regrowth.
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