The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFMD) is planning “prescribed fires” in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve with the goal of preventing wildfires there, according to a news release from the district.
The water management agency will conduct the controlled fires from January through March, at the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, which includes the Green Swamp West Tract in Pasco County, the Green Swamp East Tract in Polk, Sumter and Lake counties; and, the Hampton Tract in Polk County.
The Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve is located north of U.S. Highway 98 along State Road 471 and Rockridge Road, between Lakeland and Dade City. Approximately 12,000 acres will be burned in manageable units, the release said.
Major benefits of prescribed fires 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.
Prescribed fires are conducted by SWFMD on approximately 30,000 acres each year.
Published January 11, 2023