Controlled burns scheduled for Hillsborough County

News Release

The Southwest Florida Water Management District will be conducting "controlled, prescribed burns" during December, January and February on the Flatwoods Park and Oak Ridge Equestrian areas of the District's Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve in Hillsborough County.

The Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve is located just south of Morris Bridge Road and just east of I-75, approximately three miles northeast of Temple Terrace. Approximately 700 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 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 owns and manages approximately 436,000 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. 4465.