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Agriculture Press Release

January 19, 1999

State Agencies to Review Prescribed Fire and Air Quality Issues

TALLAHASSEE Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford today announced that the Division of Forestry will hold a joint meeting with the Florida Department of Environmental Protections Division of Air Quality to discuss issues relating to prescribed fire and air quality standards in Florida. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. on January 20 at the Florida Farm Bureau Federation headquarters in Gainesville.

"Many land managers do not fully understand federal and state policies and regulations concerning prescribed fire," Crawford said. "This meeting will provide an opportunity for land managers to discuss these issues with the regulatory agencies involved."

Topics to be covered include the federal Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agencys Natural Events and Wildfire Policies, smoke management concerns and liabilities, the importance of prescribed fire, Floridas Smoke Dispersion Index and the new Florida Fire Management Information System.

Studies conducted by the U.S. Forest Service indicate that air quality can be better in areas where prescribed fire has been utilized to reduce the severity of wildfires.

"Fire in wildlands and air quality are not only related, they complement each other," Crawford said. "Most Floridians came to see and understand this after last summers wildfires, when air quality standards were exceeded for up to a month in many places where prescribed fire was not utilized."

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For more information:

Terence McElroy
(850) 488-3022

Jim Brenner
(850) 488-6111


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