Water Management District aims to reduce risk of wildfires by scheduling prescribed fires in South Sarasota County

Deer Prairie Creek Preserve and Schewe Tract to be focus of action

Because setting prescribed fires in controlled settings can reduce the risk of wildfires burning out of control, the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns from this month through September at the Myakka River-Deer Prairie Creek Preserve and the Myakka River-Schewe Tract in Sarasota County, the District has announced.

Both of those properties are located west of North Port, east of the Myakka River, and north and south of Interstate 75, a news release points out. “Approximately 1,400 acres will be burned in small, manageable units,” the release says.

Among the major benefits of prescribed fires are the following, the release explains:

  • Reducing the presence of 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,” the release points out.

“Click here to see aerial footage from a prescribed fire in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve,” where District land management staff burned 320 acres, the release adds.