Setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control. That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns June through September on the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve and Chito Branch Reserve in Hillsborough County.
The Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve is located south of Cross Creek Boulevard between U.S. Highway 301 and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard near Thonotosassa. Approximately 700 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.
Chito Branch Reserve is located west of County Road 39 and east of Boyette Road near Lithia. Approximately 500 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.