Fire plays an important role in most ecosystems and is a vital component of ecosystem functions. Because fire was a natural factor on most Texas rangelands and forestlands before European settlement, native vegetation and wildlife are well adapted to burning. Fire effectively suppresses many woody plant species while encouraging grass and forbs growth; which is beneficial to livestock and wildlife.
As Texas becomes more urbanized, the awareness of prescribed fire as a tool for land and wildlife management becomes more complex. The historic 2011 fire season was devastating to the people, property, and natural resources of Texas. Local fire departments and the Texas Forest Service responded to over 30,000 individual fires that consumed over 4 million acres since the start of fire season on November 15, 2010.
STPRA believes educating landowners, local governmental and civic
leaders, volunteers, and the general public in the safe use of
prescribed burning as an efficient and practical method of land
management and for the prevention of wildfires is vital to the success
of its continued use.
STPRA will continue to work with the South Texas Prescribed Burn Association, the Prescribed Burn Alliance of Texas, the State Fire Policy Task Force, and other like-minded associations to ensure that the general public recognizes the role controlled burns can have on decreasing the available fuel for wildfires to maximize fire prevention and fuel reduction techniques; and the benefit of prescribed burning as a land management tool for wildlife and livestock.
STPRA was invited by the Texas Department of Agriculture to participate in the newly organized State Fire Policy Task Force. STPRA executive director, Susan Durham, represents the Association on the “Task Force”. STPRA representatives were also invited to sit on the advisory committee of the Prescribed Burning Board for the State of Texas.
STPRA supports the Texas Prescribed Burning Board’s creation of a third classification of a certified prescribed burn manager.