Family-friendly festival shows the benefits of prescribed fire through interactive games, displays, and demonstrations

Fighting fire with fire is more than an old idiom, it's a time-honored land management tactic that's been in use for centuries. Now, you can see first-hand how professionals strategically set fires to protect life and land from the ravages of wildfire.

Join Hillsborough County's Conservation & Environmental Lands Management Department (CELM) for a day of eco-friendly fun, where the science of prescribed fire meets family-friendly festivities. Ignite your knowledge with interactive workshops, witness the heat of live prescribed fire demonstrations, and let experts fan the flames of understanding about fire's essential role in maintaining healthy ecosystems.

From guided nature walks to fiery fun for kids, this festival is a celebration of responsible land management practices. Come burn bright with the community as we kindle awareness and appreciation for the positive impact of prescribed fires on our environment.

Fire Fest will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27, at Lake Conservation Park, 17302 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Lutz, FL, 33549. The festival is free, but a $2 park entry fee applies.

What is prescribed fire?

Prescribed fire or prescribed burning is an economical way to apply a natural process, under more controlled weather conditions, to ensure ecosystem health and reduce the risk of wildfire. It is a land management tool used to restore and maintain fire-dependent ecosystems, enhance forest health, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce the chances of dangerous, uncontrolled wildfire by decreasing hazardous fuels.

Fire promotes healthy ecosystems by clearing out competing vegetation, cycling nutrients into the soil, stimulating growth and seed production of fire-dependent plants, and providing food for wildlife. One of the greatest benefits of prescribed fire is that it reduces "fuels" such as underbrush, branches, pine needles, leaves, and dead plant debris that build up on the forest floor over time. Reducing fuels every few years helps reduce the intensity, heat, and destructive force of a wildfire if one occurs.

To help manage the biological integrity of more than 64,000 acres of environmentally sensitive areas, Hillsborough County CELM routinely conducts prescribed fires on County conservation lands. This keeps native habitats within nature preserves and conservation parks thriving for wildlife and residents to enjoy.

Visit Prescribed Fire & Burning to learn more.

Prescribed Fire Fest

When: Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Lake Conservation Park, 17302 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Lutz, FL 33549
Cost: The festival is free, but a $2 park entry fee applies.

Things to bring

  • Hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Bug spray

  • Water in refillable container

  • Closed-toe shoes

  • Sunscreen

Please note, live prescribed fire demonstrations are subject to weather conditions. This event may be canceled due to weather. Visit Prescribed Fire Fest for more information or call (813) 230-4495.

Image Caption: Prescribed burning or prescribed fire is a safe and economical way to apply a natural process to ensure ecosystem health and reduce the risk of wildfire.
Posted: 1/17/2024, 8:35:16 PM