Controlled burns throughout Tampa Bay benefit environment, officials say

Local News

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) – The controlled burn in Levy County is still set to cause issues for some Tampa Bay area counties on Wednesday.

But here in Hillsborough County, a controlled burn in the Wimauma area, not having that big of an impact.

Mary Barnwell is Hillsborough County’s Environmental Lands Management Coordinator and she tells 8 On Your Side that the haze that covered the Bay area yesterday is rare with controlled burns.

“When you doing big burns like they were doing, occasionally you can’t predict where the smoke was going to sit down, you can’t predict what the winds are going to do,” said Barnwell.

The controlled burn in Levy County was a total of 7,000 acres, while the one in Hillsborough was just 180 acres.

Barnwell wants people to understand that controlled burns happen often in our state, as they benefit the environment.

“It’s very important for our natural systems and everything is adapted to it and require it,” she added.

Barnwell adds that Florida has one of the best burn programs in the country, which helps prevent wildfires in our state.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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