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 July through September on the Edward W. Chance Reserve - Gilley Creek Tract (Gilley Creek) and Coker Prairie Tract in Manatee County.
Gilley Creek is located between State Roads 62 and 64, east of County Road 675. Approximately 900 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.
Coker Prairie is located south of State Road 64. Approximately 200 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.