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The Role of Prescribed Fire in Mitigating Catastrophic Wildfires

Author(s): M. Gutierrez, A. Hays

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The value of prescribed burning in maintaining the functionality of rangelands has long been recognized. Prescribed burning can improve rangeland conditions, forage productivity and wildlife habitats. Many private landowners understand the benefits of prescribed fire but lack the experience or confidence to frequently apply prescribed burns. In a year when Texans are facing one of the driest years on record, this level of confidence from landowners is definitely being “tested.”

The drought and associated catastrophic fires have had a heavy toll on landowners and Texans. Interestingly, concerned landowners like Stan Graff have been campaigning for the development of a statewide comprehensive fire policy to communicate to the citizens of Texas, landowners and land managers the importance of prescribed burning as part of the solution in mitigating the dangers of catastrophic wildfires.

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