Fire Management

Prescribed Fire

Fire is a very powerful natural element that occurs throughout our planet. For tens of thousands of years, many ecosystems, including several in Florida, have adapted with fire and become dependent on a natural fire regime to maintain the habitat in a condition usable by native wildlife.

The Merritt Island NWR Fire Staff manages fire to protect facilities and surrounding communities while enhancing wildlife, plants, and their habitats. The Fire Management Staff is integrated into all of the Refuge’s programs.

For more information about the Fire Management Program, contact the Fire Management Officer at (321) 861-6695 or the Assistant Fire Management Officer at (321) 861-8167.

  • Prescribed Fire


    Every year fire managers set prescribed fire to millions of acres of land across the country in an effort to restore natural landscapes, reduce large accumulations of hazardous fuels, and reduce the risk to life and property from wildfire.

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  • Wildfire Supression


    Wildfire suppression is a primary function of federal wildland firefighting agencies. In order to preserve life and property, as well as maintain our natural landscapes, suppressing wildfires becomes necessary.

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  • Fire and Your Home


    If you live in the "Wildland Urban Interface" (where wildlands meet housing developments), there are several things you can do to protect your property. This protection scheme is referred to as defensible space and basically requires a few days of hard work and generally good, sound common sense as you build structures and landscape your property. For more information and ideas on how to protect your home, visit or