Ask| a forester What is a prescribed burn and how do they help?

by Jason Ellis Texas Forestry Service Agent

A prescription burn is the planned and controlled use of fire as a land management tool.

Fire has always been an important part of the ecosystem. By doing prescribed burns, landowners mimic the open forest conditions seen hundreds of years ago, reduce fuels and create better habitat for wildlife species by regenerating beneficial plant species.

Before a prescribed burn, burn managers consider a variety of factors including weather, fuel conditions, smoke dispersal and public safety.

When planning for a prescription burn, a comprehensive burn plan is written for the burn area.

Burns have different goals and often aim to reduce fuel loading, such as pine straw, twigs and fallen leaves that act as potential fuel in the event of a wildfire.

When landowners burn older vegetation, they promote the growth of new, green browse for wildlife. To learn more about prescription burns or any other land management topics, contact your local Texas A&M Forest Service District Office at