Fighting fire, with fire!

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HOUSTON (CW39) – A controlled burn took place at the Houston Arboretum on March 25th, and new sprouts are already emerging from the scorched grounds. Controlled, or prescribed burns are issued for multiple different reasons, all to help, not destroy our land. Benefits from this burn that took place at the Arboretum include returning nutrients to the soil, decreasing the threat for wildfires, opening new areas to native grasses and wildflowers, and reduce invasive species. 

A prescribed fire is carefully planned. It takes in to account public safety, weather patterns such as wind direction and speed, and the surrounding environment. Wind speed and direction are particularly important because officials do not want to drive smoke through residential areas, creating poor air quality for the time of the burn. 

These prescribed burns aren’t just occurring at the Houston Arboretum, but throughout the state of Texas. This is particularly true for far south and west Texas where we are seeing extreme and exceptional drought conditions. Burning grounds during a drought… sounds counterintuitive right? The reasoning behind this is to keep trees and brush at a controllable level, before a wildfire strikes. Controlled burns are use to prevent extensive, uncontainable wildfire damage. 

For more information about prescribed burns you can visit: https://houstonarboretum.org/prescribed-fire/

I spoke with the Sr. Natural Resource Specialist, at the Houston Arboretum today to find out more about what goes into planning for these burns.

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