District will reduce risk of wildfires through prescribed fires for Hillsborough/ Manatee Counties
Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control, as many Floridians witnessed during the state’s recent drought. That’s why the Land Management Section of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns during the months of October, November and December on the Lower Hillsborough Flood Detention Area (LHFDA) and the Chito Branch Reserve in Hillsborough County.
The LHFDA is located south of Cross Creek Boulevard between U.S. Highway 301 and Morris Bridge Road near Thonotosassa. Chito Branch Reserve is located south of Boyette Road west of County Road 39 near Lithia. A total of approximately 1,115 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.
The Gilley Creek property is located between State Road 62 and State Road 64 and east of County Road 675, southeast of Parrish. The Flatford Swamp property is located on Myakka Road, south of State Road 64 and north of Myakka City. Approximately 1,400 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.
Some major benefits of prescribed fire include:
- Reducing overgrown plants which decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfires
- Promoting the growth of new, diverse plants
- Maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat
- Maintaining access for public recreation
The District’s land management section conducts prescribed fires on approximately 30,000 acres each year.