The Alafia River Corridor Nature Preserve, 931 Old Welcome Road in Lithia, has been declared safe for visitors and is re-opened to the public. The natural preserve was closed after a wildfire that began late Sunday, January 2.
Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation and the Florida Division of Forestry might conduct prescribed burns on the site within the next couple of weeks to prevent the fire from re-igniting.
The Alafia River Corridor Nature Preserve is a 4700-acre refuge owned by the Southwest Florida Water Management District and managed by the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. The sites which make up the preserve were purchased in 1994 with joint funding from Hillsborough County Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program and Southwest Florida Water Management District with Save Our Rivers and Preservation 2000 Funds. Management objectives are focused on maintaining and enhancing overall habitat quality by prescribed fire and exotic nuisance species control. Natural habitats within the preserve include: pine flatwoods, dry prairie, hardwood hammock, and pine forest.