District Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve

News Release

Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control. That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns January through March at the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, which includes the Green Swamp East Tract in Polk, Sumter and Lake counties; the Hampton Tract in Polk County; and the Green Swamp West Tract in Pasco County.

The Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve is located north of U.S. Highway 98 along State Road 471 and Rockridge Road between Lakeland and Dade City. Approximately 12,000 acres will be burned in 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 see aerial footage from a prescribed fire in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve where District land management staff burned 320 acres.

Nature & Land