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 early spring. That's why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns during the months of October, November and December on the Lower Hillsborough Flood Detention Area (LHFDA) and the Chito Branch Reserve in Hillsborough County.
The LHFDA is located south of Cross Creek Boulevard between U.S. Highway 301 and Morris Bridge Road near Thonotosassa. Chito Branch Reserve is located south of Boyette Road west of County Road 39 near Lithia. A total of approximately 1,115 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 for a quick look at what it's like along the fire line.