Prescribed burns in southwest Travis County to be carried out on December 9
TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – Smoke may be visible in southwest Travis County on Friday, December 9 due to the Austin Water-directed burns.
The areas in particular are near State Highway 45 and MoPac, east of FM 1826, west of Brodie Lane, and northwest of FM 1626 from 10 a.m. to sunset.
Prescribed burns are carried out to mimic the natural fire cycle which helps reduce the potential for true destructive forest fires by limiting their intensity and fuel. The city of Austin says prescribed burns also help the water cycle by reducing brush and promoting grassland that improves water quality and the amount of water released to our aquifer.
According to the City of Austin, “Wildland Conservation staff have seen native wildflower and herb communities experience greater biodiversity after prescribed burns. Grassland birds such as quails and northern harriers take advantage of open habitat, found after a fire, to nest and feed.
A team of highly trained professionals made up of staff from Austin Water, city and county fire departments, and federal, state and local land management agencies ensure that safety is their primary focus. Partnerships with agencies such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Nature Conservancy, Wildflower Center, Texas Forest Service and Travis County Natural Resources, as well as coordination with the Austin Fire Department, the Neighboring fire departments and emergency service districts all contribute to successful prescribed burns.
In addition to the City, all personnel meet the specific training, experience, physical condition and personal protective equipment requirements for the position they occupy on the fire line. The prescription for each fire takes into account weather conditions – including past wind and precipitation – and requires specific parameters for the burn to ensure that the behavior of the fire will meet its objectives and can be safely controlled.