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February 21, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District will be conducting “controlled, prescribed burns” during February and March on two District sites in Hillsborough County. The sites are the Alafia Reservoir property and the Lower Hillsborough property.

The Alafia Reservoir property is approximately 2 miles south of Lithia. Approximately 285 acres of land will be burned in small, manageable units.

The Lower Hillsborough property is approximately 1 mile southeast of New Tampa. Approximately 300 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 District Land Manager Kevin W. Love, burns are implemented 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 assure 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.

To meet various water management needs, the District has acquired approximately 300,000 acres of environmentally sensitive and water resource related lands.

For more information, please call the District at 352-796-7211 or 1-800-423-1476.

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