STUART, Fla. -

A prescribed burn is planned for a state park in Stuart.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Atlantic Ridge Preserve State Park will conduct a prescribed burn Thursday and Friday, weather permitting. Almost 700 acres of pine flatwoods will be burned in the northern part of the park.

State officials say the burn will only happen if weather parameters are suitable. Prescribed burning mimics natural fire cycles to restore healthy forests and natural communities, reduce undergrowth that accumulates over time and decreases the potential for wildfire. Burned lands experience an increase in native wildflowers, birds and other wildlife.