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SWFWMD Schedules Summer Prescribed Fires for Manatee County

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The Land Management Section of the Southwest Florida Water Management District) will be conducting prescribed burns during the months of June, July, and August on the following properties in eastern Manatee County: Southfork, Edward W. Chance Reserve at Gilley Creek, Edward W. Chance Reserve at Coker Prairie, and Flatford Swamp. Approximately 700 acres are scheduled to be burned in small, manageable units.

According to Will VanGelder, the District’s land management supervisor, burns are implemented to mimic natural fire cycles under a controlled situation. The objective is to avert uncontrolled wildfires and enhance the area’s natural conditions by maintaining the ecological and wildlife habitat values. Prescribed burns are only conducted when weather conditions are optimal to meet the desired objectives and to minimize impacts to the public.

Although every effort will be made to assure that smoke does not affect homes or highways, vehicle operators should exercise caution if smoke reduces visibility on the area’s roads or highways.