District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Polk 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 in early spring. That's why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns October through January 2018 on the Green Swamp Hampton Tract property in Polk County.

The Hampton Tract property is located north of Rock Ridge Road and east of U.S. Highway 98, north of Lakeland. Approximately 2,700 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":https://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/newsroom/fact_sheets/details/11/ for a quick look at what it's like along the fire line.