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 October through January 2018 on the Gilley Creek and Flatford Swamp properties in Manatee County.
The Gilley Creek property is located between State Road 62 and State Road 64 and east of County Road 675, southeast of Parrish. The Flatford Swamp property is located on Myakka Road, south of State Road 64 and north of Myakka City. Approximately 1,400 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 for a quick look at what it's like along the fire line.