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Waco Wetlands Prescribed Fire

Unit Information

Texas A&M Forest Service
Texas
College Station, TX 77845

Incident Contact

Victoria Wenkman
Email: vwenkman@tfs.tamu.edu
Phone: (254) 633 8612

Highlighted Activity

03/08/2021 1600 Update for Waco Wetlands Prescribed Fire
The Texas A&M Forest Service has completed the prescribed burn at the Waco Wetlands as of 1800 on March 8, 2021. The burn consumed 130 acres of overgrown vegetation and invasive willow trees. The...
News - 03/08/2021
An engine and personnel ignite the Waco Wetlands with a large smoke plume in the background.Image options: [ Full Size ]

The Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) is conducting a 130 acre prescribed burn at the Waco Wetlands. The burn site is located 3.0 miles south of China Spring, TX off N. River Crossing and Eichelberger Crossing Road. The objectives of the burn are to reduce brush density, and favor vegetation that is representative a native Texas wetland. Prescribed fire is a preventative tool that reduces hazardous fuel build up, recycles nutrients back into the soil and promotes growth of healthy native trees, wildflowers and other plants. TFS is monitoring weather conditions and will schedule the burn when the weather and fuel conditions meet prescription. Weather for prescribed burns are favorable when the wind will help lift and disperse the smoke. 

The Lake Waco Wetlands were constructed as a habitat mitigation project that began in 2001 in response to the rising water level of the lake. By establishing these wetlands, many ecological benefits including water filtration, improved habitat for native animals and plants, and erosion control are created. To help maintain and improve these healthy wetlands,  TFS has partnered with the City of Waco to use prescribed fire to reduce the invasive willow tree population that has encroached on the wetlands over the years. Reducing the invasive willow tree population will allocate more resources such as water, space, and sunlight to native plant species that play a more valuable ecological role.   

Residents and visitors are asked to avoid areas where prescribed burns are being conducted. Smoke may be visible, but these fires are all carefully monitored and local fire departments are aware of prescribed fire activity. Get updates on prescribed burns on TFS Facebook and Twitter pages:

Texas A&M Forest Service Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lssimt

Texas A&M Forest Service Twitter: https://twitter.com/AllHazardsTFS

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypePrescribed Fire
LocationChina Spring, TX off N. River Crossing and Eichelberger Crossing Road.
Incident CommanderTexas A&M Forest Service
Coordinates31.606 latitude, -97.309 longitude

Current Situation

Size130 Acres

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

To safely and effectively achieve the goals of the prescribed burn, specific weather parameters need to be in place prior to ignition. The acceptable weather conditions for this burn are: south winds at 6-15 mph, relative humidity at 20-55%, temperature at 30-95°F, and approximately 7 days since last rainfall are needed.