SWFWMD Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Pasco, Hernando and Citrus Counties : NatureCoaster.com accessibility restaurant explore domain room_service shopping_basket arrow-circle-right search instagram linkedin yelp twitter youtube star facebook Trip Advisor
Firefighters conducting a controlled burn.

SWFWMD Aims to Reduce Risk of Wildfires by Scheduling Prescribed Fires for Pasco, Hernando and Citrus Counties

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on June 25, 2021

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 at the following Pasco County properties:

  • Cypress Creek Preserve
  • Conner Preserve
  • Starkey Wilderness Preserve
  • Upper Hillsborough Preserve
  • Weekiwachee Preserve

Cypress Creek Preserve is located east of Ehren Cutoff and south of State Road 52. Approximately 125 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Conner Preserve is located west of Ehren Cutoff and south of State Road 52.

Approximately 700 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Starkey Wilderness Preserve is located east of New Port Richey, west of the Suncoast Parkway, north of State Road 54 and south of State Road 52. Approximately 600 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Upper Hillsborough Preserve is located south of the County Road 54 and east of Chancey Road in Zephyrhills. Approximately 1,000 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

The Weeki Wachee Preserve is located west of U.S. Highway 19 between Spring Hill and Hernando Beach. Approximately 325 acres will be burned in small, manageable units. Some trails may be temporarily closed during prescribed burn events.

Hernando County Scheduled Prescribed Burns

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns July through September at Annutteliga Hammock and Weekiwachee Preserve in Hernando County.

Annutteliga Hammock is located east of U.S. Highway 19, north of Centralia Road and south of the county line. Approximately 200 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

The Weekiwachee Preserve is located west of U.S. Highway 19 between Spring Hill and Hernando Beach. Approximately 325 acres will be burned in small, manageable units. Some trails may be temporarily closed during prescribed burn events.

Prescribed Burns will be conducted in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve

Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns throughout the year at the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, which includes the Green Swamp East Tract in Polk, Sumter and Lake counties, the Hampton Tract in Polk County, and the Green Swamp West Tract in Pasco County.

The Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve is located north of U.S. Highway 98 along Highway 471 and Rockridge Road between Lakeland and Dade City.

Citrus County Scheduled Prescribed Burns

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns July through September on Potts Preserve and Flying Eagle Preserve in Citrus County.

Potts Preserve is located approximately 2 miles east of the City of Hernando and three and a half miles north-northeast of Inverness. The property is east and southeast of State Road 200 and north of Turner Camp Road and is bordered by the Withlacoochee River on the east. Approximately 500 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Flying Eagle Preserve is located southeast of the City of Inverness and approximately 8 miles west of the I-75 Hwy 44 interchange. Approximately 1,000 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

SWFWMD to Conduct Prescribed Burns throughout the Nature Coast to Reduce Risk of Wildfires

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.

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