Water-Related News

SWFWMD schedules winter prescribed fires for DeSoto, Charlotte Counties

The Land Management Section of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will be conducting prescribed burns during the months of February and March.

The District will be conducting prescribed burns on the Deep Creek Preserve in DeSoto County and on the Prairie/Shell Creek Preserve in Charlotte County. The Deep Creek Preserve is located northeast of Port Charlotte, east of King’s Highway and north of Deep Creek Estates in Charlotte County. Approximately 350 acres will be burned, in small, manageable units. The Prairie/Shell Creek Preserve is located to the west of US Highway 17, north of Shell Creek. Approximately 80 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.