District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Manatee 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 last year. That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns in November and December on the Little Manatee River Southfork Tract, Myakka River - Flatford Swamp Preserve, and Edward W. Chance Reserve - Gilley Creek Tract (Gilley Creek) and Coker Prairie Tract in Manatee County.

The Southfork Tract is located north of State Road 62, 3 miles east of Saffold Road

Myakka River - Flatford Swamp Preserve is located west of Wachula-Myakka Road, 2 miles north of State Road 70. 

Gilley Creek is located between State Road 62 and 64, east of County Road 675 and Coker Prairie is located south of State Road 64. Both the Gilley Creek and Cocker Prairie properties are southeast of Parrish.

Approximately 400 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 learn more about why igniting prescribed burns now prepares lands for the next wildfire season.

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