In 2011, East Texas experienced the largest-scale timber losses in its history. Because of extreme drought conditions, the majority of the fire that occurred last year had a negative impact on natural resources. However, strategically-planned prescribed wildfire can actually protect homes and communities.
Prescribed burning is a tool used by natural resource managers to help maintain healthy ecosystems, improve wildlife habitat and mitigate hazardous vegetation, said Wildland Urban Interface Specialist Jared Karns.
“When conducted by trained specialists, prescribed fire can be an effective and cost-efficient mechanism for removing fuel and returning an ecosystem to its natural state,” Karns said.
Landowners who wish to apply for grant funds must submit a prescribed burn plan, a map of the area to be burned showing its proximity to national forest land and the physical address of the burn unit.
Texas A&M Forest Service will review the applications and notify approved landowners. Those approved for grant funding can be reimbursed up to $30 per acre, pending completion of the prescribed burn and an inspection conducted by TFS personnel. Texas A&M Forest Service will not assist with the burn. The work can be completed by a landowner or contractor.
Download an application under the “Protect Your Community” tab at texasfirewise.org. The deadline for submission is Dec. 14, 2012.