July 24, 2012
The Southwest Florida Water Management District will be conducting “controlled, prescribed burns” during July on the District’s Upper Hillsborough Preserve – Alston Tract in Polk County.
Upper Hillsborough Preserve – Alston Tract is located in Zephyrhills. Approximately 200 acres of land will be burned in small, manageable units. The scheduled, managed burns are a part of routine maintenance of lands managed by the District.
According to Land Management Supervisor Will VanGelder, burns are conducted to mimic natural fire cycles under a controlled situation. The object is to avoid 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 allow the objectives to be met while minimizing impacts to the public.
Every effort will be made to ensure that smoke will not affect homes or highways. However, vehicle operators should exercise caution in case smoke does lead to reduced visibility on the area’s roads or highways.
The District protects approximately 449,000 acres of environmentally sensitive lands for water resource and natural systems protection.
For more information, please call the District at (352) 796-7211 or 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4467.