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Waco Wetlands Prescribed Fire

Unit Information

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

Texas A&M Forest Service Press release 1.13.2020

Waco Wetlands Prescribed Fire Prescribed Fire
News – 1/13/2020

News Release

Victoria Wenkman

PIO for Waco Wetlands Prescribed Fire 2020

Cel: (254)633-8612

Email: vwenkman@tfs.tamu.edu

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 13, 2020                                Waco Wetlands Prescribed Burn   Waco, Texas — The Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) plans to conduct a 70 acre prescribed burn at the Waco Wetlands scheduled January or February 2020. The dates for the prescribed burn have not yet been scheduled at this time. The burn is expected to be conducted and completed in one day. TFS is monitoring weather conditions and will schedule the burn when the weather and fuel conditions meet prescription. Additional notifications will be forthcoming as dates are scheduled.   Prescribed burns are used as a management tool in natural areas and state parks to improve habitat for wildlife by restoring woodlands, wetlands and savannahs in the Waco Wetlands Area that were historically maintained by natural fires. They are also conducted to reduce the amount of available fuels, such as cedar, willow trees, fallen branches, 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.   TFS staff have already begun preparing for the upcoming burn by clearing vegetation and other fuels from the firebreaks established around the perimeter of each area that will be burned this year. Fuels and vegetation are also cleared away from utility poles, structures, signs and sensitive resources to protect them during the prescribed burns.    Prescribed burns are conducted by TFS personnel who have undergone training and met national wildland firefighting certification standards. The Waco Wetlands prescribed burn plan defines the conditions under which a prescribed burn may be conducted, taking into account wind speeds and direction, air temperature, relative humidity, and fuel moisture levels. The plan also guides fire crewmembers in managing burns to prevent them from escaping into adjacent properties and to minimize the effect of smoke in nearby residential areas.   Because specific weather conditions are required to conduct an effective and safe prescribed burn, TFS staff cannot provide a specific date for the burns at this time. However, local emergency management officials will be notified before a prescribed fire is implemented. The TFS Burn Boss advises that there may be smoke that reduces visibility on neighboring roads and asks travelers to reduce their speed and use their headlights when smoke is present.   For more information regarding the planned burn or to request notification for the day of the burn, please contact:
Victoria Wenkman, Wildland Urban Interface II, Texas A&M Forest Service, vwenkman@tfs.tamu.edu, 254-633-8612 Mary Leather, Capacity Building Specialist III, Texas A&M Forest Service, mleathers@tfs.tamu.edu, 979-218-3030

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