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 at the following Pasco County properties:
- Starkey Wilderness Preserve
- Cypress Creek Preserve
- Upper Hillsborough Preserve
- Conner Preserve
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 1,500 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.
Cypress Creek Preserve is located east of Ehren Cutoff, 1 mile south of State Road 52. Approximately 100 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.
Upper Hillsborough Preserve is located south of County Road 54 and east of Chancey Road in Zephyrhills. Approximately 1,000 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.
Conner Preserve is located south of State Road 52 and west of Ehren Cutoff. Approximately 400 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.