Grazing North Texas: Prescribed Fire? On My Ranch? – Part 4

This is a 240-acre prescribed burn in north Texas carried out during the summer months. Note the significant amount of grass that was on the land, and was used to carry the fire. The blackened plants are still visible. In a wind-driven wildfire, grass plants are often totally consumed, leaving only bare ground subject to erosion. (Photo courtesy Kati Biggs)

By Tony Dean |

In part one of this series on fire, we discussed the attitude many ranchers have towards fire, after decades of fighting and fearing this natural enemy. Part two included a list of actions ranchers can take to help protect their homes, property and livestock against the threat of wildfire. Most recently, part three reviewed some of the issues ranchers will encounter if they decide to implement a prescribed burn on their property.

In this final part four, we have invited Kati Biggs, wildlife biologist, to write a guest editorial concerning the potential benefits of a well-planned and executed prescribed burn. Biggs is a conservation professional who has worked with Quail Forever and the Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture to implement prescribed burns on private lands. Biggs has burned alongside many state, federal and non-government organizations, and has been part of every aspect of burning from writing burn plans to walking alongside and educating landowners as they conduct their first prescribed burn.

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