Before you fire it up, you might want to attend the introductory prescribed burning workshop sponsored by Texas AgriLife Extension Jan. 13 in Corsicana.
Done right—a prescribed fire actually can mitigate wildfire danger. What's more, a controlled burn can benefit natural resources, says Derek Scasta, Navarro County AgriLife Extension agent.
"Many of the plant and animal species associated with rangeland prairie ecosystems (little bluestem and bobwhite quail) are adapted to fire," Scasta notes. "These types of prairie ecosystems are considered to be fire dependent, and prescribed fire may be an important component of habitat restoration and ranch management."
The program will begin at the Navarro County Exposition Center, 4021 West Highway 22 in Corsicana, and then move on to field demonstrations. It will bring together prescribed burning experts from AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Forest Service, U.S. Corps of Engineers, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The workshop starts at 8 a.m., with topics related to fire effects, fire behavior, policy and liability, planning a burn, and conducting the burn. After lunch, the group will go to the field and discuss safety equipment and evaluate fuel and fire weather conditions.
If conditions are appropriate and fit the prescription for a safe and effective burn, a demonstration burn will be conducted.
Cost of the workshop is just $10 and includes lunch and also a resource manual.
The program has been approved for three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units, and Certified Professional in Range Management units are pending.
Call 903-654-3075 for more information, or to let organizers know you plan to attend so they can prepare for the crowd.
In addition to landowners, fire responders and elected officials are welcome to attend.