District Schedules Prescribed Fires for Marion County

News Release

The "Land Management Section of the Southwest Florida Water Management
District ":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/documents/plans/landusemgmt/ (District) will be conducting prescribed burns during the months of November through March on the Halpata Tastanaki Preserve in Marion County. The property is located two miles east of Dunnellon and seven miles northeast of Hernando and is bounded by County Road 484 on the north, State Road 200 on the southeast and the Withlacoochee River on the southwest. Approximately 1,500 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.