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 last year. That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns in August and September on the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve Hampton Tract in Polk County.

The Hampton Tract is located north of Rock Ridge Road, east of U.S. Highway 98, north of Lakeland. Approximately 2,100 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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