District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Citrus 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 October through December on Potts Preserve, Flying Eagle Preserve and Chassahowitzka River and Coastal Swamps in Citrus County.

Potts Preserve is located approximately 2 miles east of the city of Hernando and three and a half miles north-northeast of Inverness. The property is east and southeast of State Road 200 and north of Turner Camp Road and is bordered by the Withlacoochee River on the east. Approximately 1,000 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Flying Eagle Preserve is located southeast of the city of Inverness and approximately 8 miles west of the Interstate 75 and Highway 44 interchange. Approximately 700 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Chassahowitzka River and Coastal Swamps is located south of the city of Homosassa and approximately 1.5 miles west of U.S. Highway 19. Approximately 50 acres will be burned.

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.