July 30, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Less than two years removed from
the worst wildfire season in Texas history, it’s no wonder that when fire is
mentioned the first thing that comes to most Texans’ minds is fear.
However, fires aren’t always bad. In fact, they can boost
the health of the land.
For generations, Texans have used prescribed—or “good”—fire
to help manage the landscape, depending on the flames, to clear brush, control
vegetation, maintain wildlife habitats and even boost nutrients in the soil.
This week, Texas A&M Forest Service is joining with
Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas
A&M AgriLife Extension to release A
Land in Balance: Benefits of Prescribed Fire, a new video designed to raise
awareness about the benefits of deliberate burning. The 15-minute video illustrates
the utility of prescribed burning across different regions of Texas, how these
fires are conducted and the benefits derived from the process.
“Prescribed burns save lives and are critical tools for
private landowners to protect property,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd
Staples said. “In Texas, we must be strategic with stewardship of the land and
resources. It takes everyone coming together—first responders, local and state
officials, public land managers and private landowners—to keep our landscapes
healthy, and our citizens and communities safe.”
According to state officials, prescribed burning isn’t just
good for the land, it’s also good for people. Prescribed burning doesn’t
eliminate wildfires, but the strategic reduction of brush and other vegetation
can decrease the intensity of wildfires when they do ignite.
“Prescribed burning helps reduce the risk of potential
wildfires that may threaten lives and damage communities, crops, livestock and
wildlife,” Sonora AgriLife Extension Center Superintendent Butch Taylor said.
Texas A&M Forest Service supports the use of prescribed
fire and conducts burns on public lands. Landowners interested in learning more
about prescribed fire and its applications may visit the Prescribed Burn
Alliance of Texas website at http://pbatexas.org.
“Our goal here at Texas
A&M Forest Service is to provide information, tools, and technical assistance to residents
across the state to help them better manage their tree resources and protect
themselves,” Texas A&M Forest Service Director Tom Boggus said.
“That’s what we are doing with this video. If we can help Texans be better land, tree, and
resource managers, we can help Texans better protect Texas.”
Watch the video and find other prescribed burning resources at
Communications Manager, Texas A&M Forest Service
Director of Communications, Texas Department of Agriculture