Water-Related News

SWFWMD to conduct prescribed burns in Hillsborough County through September


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 Hillsborough County properties:

  • Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve
  • Chito Branch Reserve

The Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve is located south of Cross Creek Boulevard between U.S. Highway 301 and Morris Bridge Road near Thonotosassa.

Approximately 500 acres will be burned in small, manageable units.

Chito Branch Reserve is located east of Browning Road and west of County Road 39 near Lithia.

Approximately 200 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.