If you are in southern Brevard County today, you may see a lot of smoke.

  • Huge prescribed burn taking place Friday in Brevard County
  • One at more than 5,000 acres is in Three Forks Conservation Area
  • Burns will mitigate brush fire potential as we approach dry season
  • RELATED: Brush fire resources: Prevention, maps, safety

But there's no cause for concern: Two large fires are being set on purpose.

It's part of a double prescribed burn being put on by the St. Johns Water Management District, near west Palm Bay.

One burn is more than 5,000 acres. The other is about 800 acres.

Water management district officials are using a helicopter equipped with a napalm gun to light the 5,000 acres of natural vegetation in the Three Forks Conservation Area.

The 800-acre burn will take place just north of the area near State Road 192.

Lighting the brush from the air will get the job done more quickly, allow crews to get to otherwise inaccessible areas and reduce lingering smoke that could cause traffic concerns.

The goal is to reduce brush fire fuel in the area as we approach the dry season, and warding off any effects of lightning strikes from strong storms that will eventually roll through. Plus, burns such as these are beneficial for the environment, allowing plants and animals to benefit from nutrients created by fire.

"When we go out there, we have to check humidity, wind speed, wind direction, make sure it's going in the right direction that we want -- not into traffic or close to homes," said Ed Garland with the St. Johns Water Management District.

The prescribed fire is expected to last most of today, so be on the lookout for smoke.