District Schedules Controlled Prescribed Burns for Weeki Wachee 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 July, August and September on lands acquired by the District known as the Weeki Wachee property. The location of this tract of land is approximately two miles west of Weeki Wachee and Spring Hill and ½ miles east of Hernando Beach. Close to 400 acres will be burned, 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 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.