Into Nature Films is working with Big Cypress National Preserve to bring you the compelling story of people, fire, and a precious ecosystem.

The woods and prairies of Florida’s Big Cypress Swamp are burning. #ParliamentFire In patches large and small, fire visits the prairies and pinewoods often in this expansive national preserve in South Florida. This time of year is the annual dry season. Water levels in the swamp are low and areas of cypress are visited by fire. Though fire is less frequent in these moist cypress forests, the cypress tree is adapted to the occasional fire. 

The plant communities of the Big Cypress are like a interlocking puzzle of wet and dry areas. Because of this crazy quilt of habitat, plants and animals adapt to fire and flood as water levels change with the seasons of wet and dry.

There are a variety of fire adapted plant communities here and they have lived with flooding, fire and other disturbances for thousands of years. Humans and lightning have been the major source of fire since the current vegetation appeared here in South Florida. The Parliament fire is a human-caused fire. As the Parliament fire wanders across the Big Cypress, lightning has begun to appear nearby. Far less efficient in igniting fires, lightning too plays a role in the cycle of fire.

With dry conditions and major highways, a local team is managing this fire to prevent impacts upon public safety and contain the fire within the Preserve’s wild lands. They have years of local knowledge about how to safely manage fire in the complex landscape of South Florida. They will use both aviation and ground resources to corral this fire, reducing it’s negative impact to the economy and public health in South Florida.

There will be ecological changes after this fire. These changes will not be a disaster.

Research and monitoring by the National Park Service tells us a variety of vegetation and wildlife respond well to fire. This fire burns in patches as well as large areas creating diverse fire effects. Wet areas become refuges for plants and animals and drier ground will green up quickly in weeks ahead. Many animals will benefit from the growth stimulated by this wildfire. #BigCypressNationalPreserve #Wildfire

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