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Posted August 3, 2017 | 10:39 AM

Prescribed Fire Keeps County Lands Healthy

"Good" Fire Helps Protect Residents, Property, and Homes

Where there's smoke there's fire, and that's a good thing when it comes to managing Hillsborough County's conservation lands. The concept of prescribed fire is a time-honored land management tool offering many benefits.

All of Florida's natural habitats have evolved over thousands of years with the help of fire. Without prescribed fire in today's world, many of these habitats would become overgrown and cease to exist.

County residents who live near nature preserves and conservation lands should rest assured that while the sight of smoke can be alarming, the reduction in forest fuel that results from prescribed burning also helps to protect their property from the threat of wildfires.

It doesn't take much for forest fires to spread, as we've seen with fires in Florida and other states across the country this spring. Prescribed burning helps minimize the fuel that contributes to out-of-control burning.

The prescribed burning technique also helps the land retain nutrients that nourish the new plant life that takes root in the burned areas. The elimination of overgrowth gives way to new growth. Prescribed fire is the orchestrated rejuvenation of conservation lands.

Another benefit of prescribed burning is the control of disease among forest vegetation.

Unlike uncontrolled wildfire, prescribed fire is rarely harmful to wildlife.

For more information about prescribed burns, visit HCFLGov.net or call (813) 672-7876.