Here's why you may see and smell smoke across Central Florida this week

Stream FOX 35 News

The St. Johns River Water Management District on Wednesday conducted an 80-acre prescribed burn in the Lake Apopka North Shore nature preserve in Lake County, producing a smoky haze across much of the Orlando area. 

Prescribed fires, carefully planned and set under stringent conditions, are used to manage fire effects. The district says it ensures proper weather conditions before conducting burns to minimize smoke impact on residents and traffic.

The St. Johns River Water Management District is conducting a 4,000-acre prescribed burn Tuesday on the Lake Apopka North Shore. [Credit: SJRWMD]

Periodic prescribed fires on district lands enhance environmental quality and protect against destructive wildfires, albeit with potential temporary nuisances like smoke and ash, the district says.


Periodic prescribed fires prevent wildfires by burning grasses, shrubs, trees, and dead leaves. It also helps to manage future shrub growth. According to the district, prescribed fires also bring multiple benefits, including restoring natural communities, recycling nutrients, managing tree diseases, and opening scenic vistas.