Landowners Perspective On Prescribed Burns
The Living with Texas Fire videos showcase aspects of prescribed burning and wildfire mitigation targeted toward empowering and encouraging Texas landowners to become fire-ready. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service developed educational materials that empower landowners with safe prescribed burn practices. The materials also help to strengthen the Prescribed Burn Associations and Burn Schools knowledge-base of prescribed burning in Texas.
Videos by Topic
The Importance of Burning
Dave Reeden, President of South Central Texas Prescribed Burn Association (SCTPBA) explains the consequences of of historically suppressed natural fire. The removal of fire in rangeland ecosystems has greatly altered the native plant communities and fire regimes. Prescribed fire provides benefits such as wildfire fuel reduction, control of unwanted vegetation and improvement in wildlife habitat.
Historic Role of Fire
This video features Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor (Superintendent) and Dr. John Walker at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station of TAMU located between Sonora and Rocksprings, TX. Native Texas plant communities have been fire dependent for millennia. The natural cycle of range fires, a 5-10 year frequency, resulted in the evolution of vegetation to become a properly functioning ecosystem. Prescribed fire maintains the ecosystem while meeting the goals and objectives of the landowners in the area.
Goals and Objectives for Rangeland Management
This video features Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor (Superintendent) and Dr. John Walker at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station of TAMU located between Sonora and Rocksprings, TX. Native Texas plant communities have been fire dependent for millennia. The natural cycle of range fires, a 5-10 year frequency, resulted in the evolution of vegetation to become a properly functioning ecosystem. Prescribed fire maintains the ecosystem while meeting the goals and objectives of the landowners Texas rangeland areas.
Goals and Objectives for Natural Resources Conservation
This video describes the goals and objectives of prescribed burning from a Natural Resources Conservation perspective. Contact your local NRCS office for more information on prescribed burning and its benefit to the resource and land managers.
Dr. John Walker at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station of TAMU, describes long term research data (25 years) on range improvement practices. His studies focused on warm- versus cold-season fires and the frequency of prescribed fires, to control juniper and cactus, in favor of native grasses.
Prescribed Burn Associations
Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, Superintendent at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station of TAMU explains the challenges that private landowners faced from neighbors and agencies when first conducting prescribed fires. These challenges included liability issues and the general lack of prescribed fire experience. A local prescribed fire association of landowners that, support one another, conduct fires, share information and coordinate with local fire departments, will result in a cohesive prescribed fire program.
Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor describes the nature of wildfire in rangeland caused by the build up of highly volatile juniper species. These plant have invaded the relatively dry grassland area of west Texas as a result of the suppression of natural fire. These invasive plants provide are strong fuel for catastrophic wildfires.
Great Plains Fire Science Exchange
This video features Carol Blocksome, Outhrea Specialis, with Great Plains Fire Science Exchange (GPFSE). GPFSE is a network of landowners, managers, practitioners, and scientists, interested in the fire-dependent grassland ecosystems of the Great Plains Region. Through its website and many communication tools, the organization promotes the science and benefits of prescribed fire use to private landowners and the public. The GPFSE website is http://www.gpfirescience.org/
Landowners need to be aware of the key steps to planning and implementing a prescribed burn, while taking into account liability issues. Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, Superintendent at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station of TAMU explains how a properly prepared prescribed burn plan can address important issues such as liability and the potential consequences of ignoring this advice.
Planning for Seasonal Weather
Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, Superintendent at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station of TAMU explains how the objectives of the burn plan determine the timing of the prescribed fire operation. For example, noxious plant species require an intensive and hot fire in the dry season.
Fire Weather Forecast, Interpreting the Weather
Accurate and timely weather predictions are essential in the planning of a prescribed fire operation. There are online resources available to acquire the information needed. To use this information effectively there are specific terms and definitions used which relate to fire behavior. This video provides sources for fire weather forecasts and how to interpret fire weather descriptions.
Randy Russell, a wildland fire fighter from the Texas Forest Service, displays hand tool and demonstrates their use, in prescribed fire operations. These tools are considered the minimum required, common tools needed to properly conduct a prescribed burn in a safe and effective manner.
Drip Torch Safety
Randy Russell, a wildland fire fighter with the Texas Forest Service described the features and function of a drip torch. This video covers the ignition and extinguishing of the flame. The proper assembly, disassembly and storage of this essential piece of prescribed burning equipment are demonstrated.
Drip Torch Troubleshooting
Randy Russell, a wildland fire fighter with the Texas Forest Service describes the maintenance and in the field management for drip torch performance issues. Unclogging the fuel line and adjusting the air mix are common solutions.
Proper Fuel Mix
Randy Russell, a wildland fire fighter with the Texas Forest Service demonstrates how to properly mix drip torch fuel for prescribed burns. Randy explains the standard mix of diesel fuel and gasoline are while taking into account weather and fuel load conditions.
Randy Russell, a wildland fire fighter with the Texas Forest Service describes the appropriate attire to wear when conducting a prescribed burn. These items are referred to a personal protective equipment (PPE).
Communications, Radios, and Maps
This video features the communication devices most useful when conducting a prescribed fire operation. Often, burn units are too large for effective voice communications. High quality and reliable communication devices are needed. Maps, clearly marked, should be shared with all team members to ensure good communications.
Mike Vaughn, a commercial prescribed burn manager shows the equipment that is integrated into the 4-wheeler he uses in his work. A sprayer rig is one of the equipment items recommended for implementation of prescribed burns.
Using Goats with Fire
This video features Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, Superintendent at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station of TAMU. Dr. Taylor explains how to combat juniper or cedar, especially Redberry Juniper, in not controllable using prescribed fire alone. But through the integration of fire and post-fire targeted grazing with goats the rangeland manager can extend the value of burning operations.
The Business of Burning
Prescribed fires by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are carefully planned events conducted by a specially trained and skilled crew. From the burn boss to the grunt and the engine to the drip torch, see what and who it takes to safely put on a prescribed fire.
Who to Contact Before Burning
Prior to writing a prescribed fire plan there is a list of
recommended calls and notifications that should be made to various local authorities.
Randy Russell, a wildland fire fighter with the Texas Forest Service, demonstrates the many ignition methods for prescribed burning. The choice of ignition technique depends on factors such as available work force and current weather.
Aerial footage highlights differences in fire behavior and illustrates a head fire, back fire, and flank fire. The ring-firing technique is a popular ignition sequence used on a majority of prescribed burns in Texas. This technique ensures adequate consumption of fuels and is a reliable ignition method to use when targeting brush. This video demonstrates the slow and steady build of blacklines to ensure the prescribed burn stays safe and successful while working with certain environmental conditions. For more information, please contact Dr. Morgan Russell, Morgan.Russell@ag.tamu.edu.
On Site Weather
Randy Russell, a wildland fire fighter with the Texas Forest Service, uses a belt weather kit to measure specifics about the on-site weather. Mr. Russell shares the importance of taking frequent weather measurements and sharing them with the burn crew.
Types of Fire Behavior
Randy Russell, a wildland fire fighter with the Texas Forest Service, explains the three types of fires and their differences and uses. Each type of fire relates to the overall prescribed fire strategy being used.
Prescribed Burn Effects on Livestock
Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, Superintendent at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station of TAMU explains how prescribed burns improve the nutritional quality of required forage. In addition, he describes how the overall quantity and distribution of forage improves as a result of prescribed burning.
Fire Up Your Beef Production
America’s grasslands evolved with fire and grazing. Unfortunately, fire has been largely missing from rangelands for decades and in its absence range health has declined and woody encroachment is robbing producers of productive pastures. Prescribed fire is a proven tool to control woody encroachment and restore range health, increasing livestock production. Fire Up Your Beef Production is aimed at ranchers who are curious about prescribed fire, seeking cost effective range management. The video features ranchers who use prescribed fire on their ranches as they share their experiences related to woody encroachment control, animal performance, forage production, utilization, and economics.
Prescribed Burn Effects on Wildlife
Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, Superintendent at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station of TAMU discusses the improving and maintaining wildlife habitat on rangelands. Prescribed burning will increase biodiversity through food sources, niches, and cover benefiting many different wildlife species.