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 now through December on Prairie/Shell Creek in Charlotte County.
Prairie/Shell Creek is located on the west side of U.S. Highway 17, approximately 5 miles northeast of Punta Gorda. Prairie/Shell Creek lies between U.S. 17 and the Peace River. Approximately 50 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 the growth of new, diverse plants.
- 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 see aerial footage from a prescribed fire in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve where District land management staff burned 320 acres.