SWFWMD schedules winter prescribed fires for Sarasota County
Land Management Section of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns during the months of February and March on both the Deer Prairie Creek Preserve and neighboring Schewe Tract. Deer Prairie Creek Preserve, which is jointly owned and managed by the District and Sarasota County, is located between Interstate 75 and US Highway 41. The Schewe Tract, which is located north and south of Interstate 75 just north of Deer Prairie Creek, is solely owned and managed by the District. Both of these parcels are located west of North Port. Approximately 850 acres will be burned, in small, manageable units.
According to Will VanGelder, the District’s land management supervisor, burns are implemented to mimic natural fire cycles under a controlled situation. The objective is to avert uncontrolled wildfires and enhance the area’s natural conditions by maintaining the ecological and wildlife habitat values. Prescribed burns are only conducted when weather conditions are optimal to meet the desired objectives and to minimize impacts to the public.
Although every effort will be made to assure that smoke does not affect homes or highways, vehicle operators should exercise caution if smoke reduces visibility on the area’s roads or highways.