Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Prescribed Fire in Florida

Prescribed fire is one of the most versatile and cost-effective tools land managers use. Prescribed fire is used to reduce hazardous fuel buildups, thus providing increased protection to people, their homes and the forest. Other uses include disease control in young pines, wildlife habitat improvement, range management, preservation of endangered plant and animal species and the maintenance of fire-dependent ecosystems.

The Florida Forest Service through the Forest Protection Bureau oversees one of the most active prescribed fire programs in the country. In an average year the Florida Forest Service will issue approximately 88,000 authorizations allowing landowners and agencies to prescribe burn an average of over 2.1 million acres each year.

Burning in Florida is governed by Florida Statutes Chapter 590 and Florida Administrative Code Chapter 5I-2. Your local municipality may also have rules or regulations for burning, so please check with them and your local Florida Forest Service office.

If you have never burned in Florida before, please read the Steps to Getting an Authorization [ Adobe PDF Document 436.83 KB ] and then contact your local Florida Forest Service office.  

Florida was one of the pioneers in offering a certified burner program for both acreage burns and pile burns.

Part of the success of prescribed fire in Florida is the different number of user groups applying this land management tool. These user groups have formed Prescribed Fire Councils across the state to bring together the collective knowledge and skills of these groups, providing a forum for information sharing. 

We also have several tools and information resources to help with planning your burn or finding someone who can do the burn for you.