District Schedules Prescribed Fires for Manatee County

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 November and December on Edward W. Chance Preserve (Coker Prairie and Gilley Creek Tracts), Southfork Preserve, and the Myakka River- Flatford Swamp tract in Manatee County.

The Coker Prairie tract is located south of State Road 64, six miles west of Wauchula Road. The Gilley Creek tract is located north of State Road 64 to the east of CR 675. The Myakka River-Flatford Swamp tract is located west of Wachula-Myakka Road, two miles north of State Road 70. The Southfork Preserve is located north of State Road 62, three miles east of Saffold Road. Approximately 250 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.