COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Fire, field and forestry professionals now have additional tools, resources and online checklists to safely and effectively conduct prescribed burns in Texas.

    Texas A&M Forest Service is launching an online toolkit with comprehensive step-by-step information to assist burn managers in planning and conducting a prescribed burn. The toolkit includes forms, templates, links and guidance on safe burning conditions.

    “As we head into the fall and winter seasons, this is a just-in-time resource that will add to the pool of prescribed fire information that is already out there,” said Andy McCrady, a Texas A&M Forest Service fuels coordinator. “This is our contribution to support qualified professionals and burn managers to safely and effectively conduct prescribed burning within the state.”

    Among its contents, the new Texas A&M Forest Service webpages have templates, checklists and notification forms to plan prescribed burns, provide notification of when a burn is scheduled and a guide to manage fuels and smoke during a prescribed burn. Partner agencies, county officials and emergency dispatchers will benefit from the reporting system for public notification about prescribed burns being conducted in their area. 

    “Trees are one of Texas’ top renewable resources and our forests have developed with fire for centuries.  These TFS tools will help expand the natural and necessary tool of prescribed burning which improves tree and forest health,” said Rob Hughes, Texas Forestry Association Executive Director. “Working together to develop policy, through the Texas Burn Managers Council and the Prescribed Burning Board, will promote sustainable ecosystems that enrich all our lives.”

    Texas A&M Forest Service works with statewide forestry, wildfire operations and prevention partners to safely and effectively manage wildfire risk but does not conduct prescribed burns on private land. Prescribed burning is the application of fire to the landscape under predictable conditions to safely manage and restore ecosystem health. Controlled burning is a fire ecology application used by conservation experts under specified weather conditions to help restore forest health and manage land and natural ecosystems.

    Foresters and land managers use prescribed burning to thin overgrowth and mitigate wildfire risk by reducing fuels, such as slash piles, timber litter and overgrowth of brush and grass. Prescribed fire helps to restore wildlife habitat, regenerate plant and tree growth and stop the spread of invasive plants.

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