Step 1: Learn about fire ecology and prescribed burns
Overview: Prescribed burns, where professional foresters carefully plan and set fires in certain natural areas, are a common practice today. Forest managers use prescribed burn techniques to protect and restore natural habitat, to mimic natural processes, and to reduce forest fuel levels to help prevent wildfires. On November 21, 2014, the Florida Forest Service conducted a prescribed burn in Blackwater River State Forest. At the same time, NASA’s Landsat 8 satellite passed overhead and collected an image of the fire.
In this activity you will learn about the importance of fire in healthy forest ecosystems. As part of this, you will examine satellite imagery to observe and document the effects of, and recovery from, a prescribed burn that was conducted in Blackwater River State Forest.