District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Charlotte County

News Release

Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control, as many Floridians witnessed during the state’s wildfire emergency in 2017. That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns in July and August at Prairie/Shell Creek in Charlotte County.

Prairie/Shell Creek is located on the west side of U.S. Highway 17, approximately five miles northeast of Punta Gorda. Prairie/Shell Creek lies between U.S. 17 and the Peace River. Approximately 223 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 plant diversity

•           Maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat

•           Maintaining access for public recreation

The District conducts prescribed fires on approximately 30,000 acres each year. Click here to learn more about why igniting prescribed burns now prepares lands for the next wildfire season.