Brazos Bend State Park will be extending the prescribed burn window with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Wildland Fire Program with an optimal burn window between January 2021 and March 2021.
A few of the goals behind a prescribed burn are to reduce the threat of wildland fire to public safety, infrastructure, natural and cultural resources by regularly reducing the amount of dead and dried-up foliage that would normally fuel a wildfire.
Also, to use fire as a management tool to restore and maintain vegetation communities in a natural condition.
“A prescribed burn is a great way to continue a once natural process that restores the land,” said Assistant Park Superintendent Jason Castle.
“There are many different ecosystems in our park that require specific natural elements to thrive. We have a beautiful coastal tall-grass prairie in our park and fire is our resource management tool that helps preserve these areas.”
Castle said TPWD has an amazing Wildland Fire program.
The window to schedule a burn is large because the success of a prescribed burn in the park is determined by many factors like wetness, humidity, wind and sunshine.
“The most important ingredient is teamwork,” he said.
“The fire team keeps a sharp eye out for the most optimal weather conditions that make for a successful burn. Without a solid team, there could be much at risk.”
During the prescribed burn, public safety is the team’s number one priority, Castle said.
The operation will be conducted by trained, certified wildland firefighters, and the burn will be done following a rigorous fire plan, he said.
The plan includes a “prescription” for climactic conditions that balance meeting resource management goals of the park and ensuring that the operation is done safely for park visitors and neighbors.
Temperatures, relative humidity and wind speeds must all be within a safe threshold for the operation to be initiated.
Firefighters and law enforcement staff will be monitoring smoke and traffic throughout the operation.
Brazos Bend State Park is a 5,000-acre parcel of public land managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to conserve natural and cultural resources, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and foster an understanding of the diversity of Texas’ lands and heritage for all generations.