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Flagler County starts prescribed burn using aerial 'ping pong ball' type devices

The machine releases spheres about the size of ping pong balls that create a chemical reaction to start the fire.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Friday, Flagler County successfully completed its first prescribed fire utilizing a helicopter equipped with an aerial ignition machine.

The technology was able to set fire to 85 acres within Princess Place Preserve.

The machine releases spheres about the size of ping pong balls that create a chemical reaction to start the fire.

“This is a great success for us – the beginning of something safer and more effective for our (Land Management) prescribed fire mitigation program,” said Prescribed Fire Program Supervisor Mike Orlando.

Under certain circumstances, the aerial ignition process is better for achieving prescribed fire objectives than lighting the fire from the ground. Orlando.

A successful prescribed fire, sometimes also referred to as a “controlled” fire, removes the hazardous level of fuel in a given area. 

Flagler County’s goal with prescribed fire in Princess Place Preserve is to restore natural fire back into ecosystems and remove hazardous fuels. 

Credit: Flagler County
Credit: Flagler County
Credit: Flagler County