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 at the Conner Preserve and Upper Hillsborough Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Pasco County.
Conner Preserve is located south of State Road 52 and east of U.S. Highway 41 near Land O' Lakes. The Upper Hillsborough WMA is located south of State Road 54 and east of Chancey Road near Zephyrhills. A total of approximately 1,230 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.