Largest controlled burn in years covers Brevard County

2,300 acres scorched

Billows of smoke covered Brevard County on Friday as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had one of their largest controlled burn in years.

"We've waited for years to burn this particular area and we've waited for the right conditions, you know the fuel, the moisture the winds and all that," said Cynthia Branham, Fire Logistics Dispatcher.

Branham said 2,300 acres were scorched that sent white and gray smoke into the sky, which confused some beachgoers.

"It was a big plume and I was worried they were burning some chemical," said Miranda Grajdieru.

"I thought it was pollution earlier today because it like clouds but a little different size and color," said Alec Cable.

Branham said the controlled burn is important for reducing wildfires and also to improve the habitat for wildlife.

"We can't just allow wild fire to run rampant out here in our billion dollar so we have to stop the wild fires and then we have to come in and try to recreate those conditions so that the wildlife that lives in those conditions can flourish," she said.

Branham said weather wasn't a concern, however, they kept a careful eye on nearby buildings, a major power line and a crawler transporter that moves spacecraft.

"They're working on moving it up but it moves extremely slowly. A half mile an hour, so it takes a long time to get it," said Branham.

Twenty-three people, 10 engines, two tractor plows and a helicopter are all involved and Branham said it'll take until the evening before the smoke clears.

Crews will also be spending the night to monitor the burn.

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