District Schedules Controlled Prescribed Burns for Sarasota County Area

News Release

The Land Management Section of the "Southwest Florida Water Management District":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/ (District) will be conducting prescribed burns during the months of June, July and August on the Deer Prairie Creek Preserve and neighboring Schewe Tract.

Deer Prairie Creek Preserve, which is jointly owned and managed by the District and Sarasota County, lies between Interstate 75 and US Highway 41. The Schewe Tract, which lies north and south of Interstate 75 just north of Deer Prairie Creek, is fully owned and managed by the District. Both of these parcels are located west of North Port. Approximately 2,700 acres will be burned on the Deer Prairie Creek and Schewe parcels in small manageable units.

According to Will VanGelder, the District's Land Management Supervisor, burns are implemented to mimic natural fire cycles under a controlled situation. The objective is to avert uncontrolled wildfires and enhance the area's natural conditions by maintaining the ecological and wildlife habitat values. Prescribed burns are only conducted when weather conditions are optimal to meet the desired objectives and to minimize impacts to the public.

Although every effort will be made to assure that our smoke does not affect homes or highways, vehicle operators should exercise caution if smoke reduces visibility on the area's roads or highways.

To meet various water management needs, the District has acquired more than 343,000 acres of environmentally sensitive and water resource related lands.