Public invited to learn about prescribed fires during Sarasota County’s Fire Fest on Jan. 29

Event to be held at T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve in Venice

A county employee talks with a child during a previous Fire Fest. Image courtesy Sarasota County

On Saturday, Jan. 29, Sarasota County’s Fire Fest will return for its eighth year at T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve in Venice, with the goal of educating and informing the public about the importance of fire to the ecosystem, the county has announced.

Staff members of Sarasota County Emergency Services Department will join those representing Sarasota County’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department to “demonstrate and discuss the process of why the county schedules prescribed burns, the benefits to native habitats and wildlife, and how the county manages wildfire,” a news release explains.

Through Fire Fest, the release adds, “Sarasota County continues its commitment to environmental stewardship by sharing with the community the value of prescribed burns in protecting public lands and surrounding areas …”

The free event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway in Venice.

Fire Fest also will also feature local exhibitors, games for children, nature hayrides and light refreshments, the release notes. Further, a free raffle will give attendees the chance to win original photography prints by Clyde Butcher and Paul Tilton.

For more information, or to learn about prescribed burns, call the county Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or visit