District Schedules Prescribed Fires for West Pasco 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 from November through March on the Starkey, Conner and Cypress Creek Preserves in Pasco County. These properties are located in central and west Pasco County near Land O' Lakes and New Port Richey. Approximately 1,200 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

The District will also be conducting prescribed burns on the Weekiwachee Preserve in Pasco County. The property is located north of Hudson west of US Highway 19 and includes the Aripeka Sandhills (Aripeka Road) and SunWest (Old Dixie Highway) tracts. Approximately 300 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.