The idea of using strategically set fires to protect property and people from wildfires is nothing new.
The land management technique has been used for centuries, according to a Hillsborough County news release.
Hillsborough’s Conservation & Environmental Lands Management (CLEM) Department held a prescribed fire event on Jan. 27 at Lake Conservation Park, 17302 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Lutz. It gave those gathered a chance to learn about the science of these fires, which are deliberately set and controlled.
A prescribed fire clears out competing vegetation, cycling nutrients into the soil, stimulating growth and seed production of fire-dependent plants, according to the county’s news release. It also provides food for wildlife, the release says.
“One of the greatest benefits of prescribed fire is that it reduces ‘fuels’ such as underbrush, branches, pine needles, leaves and dead plant debris that build up on the forest floor over time. Reducing fuels every few years helps reduce the intensity, heat, and destructive force of a wildfire if one occurs,” the release adds.
The special event also included activities for families. One of the most popular activities gave children a chance to try on kid-sized firefighting gear.
Published February 14, 2024