District Schedules Prescribed Fires for the Greater Green Swamp

News Release

The Land Management Section of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns during the next 12 months within the Green Swamp. This includes the following properties: Green Swamp East, Green Swamp West, Hampton and Upper Hillsborough. These properties are located in eastern Pasco, southeastern Sumter, southwestern Lake and northern Polk counties. Approximately 20,000 acres will be prescription burned in manageable units by experienced crews. Please refer to the following website for location maps for each property at "WaterMatters.org/recreation":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/

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.