BROWNWOOD, Texas – Texas A&M Forest Service, in cooperation with the Texas Army National Guard, plans to conduct a 3,700-acre prescribed burn at Camp Bowie Feb. 25 through 28. Texas A&M Forest Service has been monitoring weather conditions and has scheduled the burn when the weather and fuel conditions meet the prescription.
At the Camp Bowie Training Center, prescribed burns are used as a management tool in natural areas to improve habitat for wildlife by restoring native prairies and grasslands.
Prescribed burns are also conducted to reduce the amount of available fuels, such as juniper, mesquite, invasive plants and grasses, understory growth and dead trees that accumulate naturally and from storm events. By decreasing the amount of available fuels, prescribed burns reduce the chance for a potentially destructive wildfire to occur.
“Texas A&M Forest Service staff has prepared for the upcoming burn by clearing vegetation and other fuels from the firebreaks established around the perimeter of each area that will be burned,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Chief Regional Fire Coordinator Rich Gray. “Fuels and vegetation are cleared away from utility poles, structures, and sensitive resources to protect them during the prescribed burns.”
The Camp Bowie Prescribed Burn Plan defines the conditions under which a prescribed burn may be conducted, considering wind speeds and direction, air temperature, relative humidity and fuel moisture levels. The plan also guides fire crew members in managing burns to prevent them from escaping into adjacent properties and to minimize the effect of smoke in nearby residential areas.
“Smoke management is one of the key criteria for all of our burns,” said Gray. “We attempt to select days with good smoke dispersion and limit the wind direction to avoid sensitive receptors located closest to the burn unit and areas that are densely populated.”
Light smoke and the odor of smoke can affect a large area near a burn. Smoke is often a nuisance but does not generally pose a health risk. Personnel focus their attention on minimizing smoke impacts in adjacent neighborhoods and along the roadways where the impacts have the potential to be greater.
Texas A&M Forest Service conducts prescribed burns on state and public lands. Agency personnel involved have undergone training and met national wildland firefighting certification standards.
To learn more about prescribed burns, visit Texas A&M Forest Service-Prescribed Burns.
Robyn Griffith, Wildland Urban Interface Specialist, Texas A&M Forest Service, 325-213-1643, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Leathers, Capacity Building Specialist, Texas A&M Forest Service, 979-218-3030, email@example.com
Texas A&M Forest Service Communications Office, 979-458-6606, firstname.lastname@example.org