An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

SWFWMD to set prescribed fires in Sarasota County

Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control, as many Floridians witnessed during the state’s wildfire emergency in 2017.

That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns July through September in Sarasota County.

Properties to be burned include:

  • Prairie Shell Creek Tract in Charlotte County. Location: 3081 Duncan Road (U.S. Highway 17) north of Punta Gorda, FL, east of U.S. Highway 17. Approximately 300 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.
  • Deep Creek Preserve Tract in DeSoto County. Location: 10797 Peace River Street in Arcadia, east of State Road 769. Approximately 650 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.
  • Edward W. Chance Reserve - Gilley Creek Tract in Manatee County. Location: Between State Roads 62 and 64, east of County Road 675. Approximately 900 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.
  • Coker Prairie Tract in Manatee County. Location: South of State Road 64. Approximately 200 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Some major benefits of prescribed fire include:

  • Reducing overgrown plants, which decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
  • Promoting the growth of new, diverse plants.
  • Maintaining the character and condition of wildlife habitat.
  • Maintaining access for public recreation.

The District conducts prescribed fires on approximately 30,000 acres each year.

Click here to see aerial footage from a prescribed fire in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve where District land management staff burned 320 acres.