The Texas A&M Forest Service, Lake Dam Volunteer Fire Department, and The Texas National Guard are coordinating a prescribed burn at Camp Bowie outside of Brownwood over the next few days. This prescribed burn will also be in conjunction with Central Texas Wildfire Academy this Sunday, February 26th.
This is the 16th year for the annual prescribed burn at Camp Bowie, which happens in February. Prescribed burning is the controlled application of fire following a burn plan. Coordinators use a well-designed burn plan to safely conduct its prescribed burns. The burn plan states the atmospheric and environmental conditions necessary to conduct a safe burn. Additionally it clearly defines the boundaries of the area to be burned and provides details of specific precautionary measures that must be implemented prior to each burn.
“Prescribed burns help by removing fuel load, and excess vegetation, so in the future if a wild fire were to start, we could get a handle on it a lot faster,” says Stacy Harvick, public information officer for Central Texas Wildfire Academy. “It protects surrounding land owners and the community.”
Prescribed or controlled burning is conducted during the cooler months to reduce fuel buildup and decrease the likelihood of serious and less easily managed fires. Controlled burning stimulates the germination of trees, and reveals soil mineral layers which increases seedling vitality, thus renewing the landscape.
During the prescribed burn at Camp Bowie, the Central Texas Wildfire Academy will be holding S-130/S-190 training sessions, which includes a wildfire training course required of all firefighters before they can work on the firelines.