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Prescribed burns are in the forecast

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 by Tai Moses

Wildfire isn’t always a disaster; in fact, fire is a normal, healthy part of the natural environment. According to Austin Water’s Wildland Conservation Division, “In savannah ecosystems such as those found in Austin’s water quality protection lands, wildflowers and native grass communities flourish after prescribed burns” and “grassland birds like quail and northern harrier hawks immediately benefit post-fire from newly open habitat for nesting and feeding.” That’s why the division is gearing up to conduct prescribed burns on the land it manages in Travis County. As spokesperson Matt Lore explains, “Prescribed fire is a key tool used to manage this land and improve the quality and quantity of groundwater entering the Edwards Aquifer. Beyond our core mission of improving groundwater quality in Central Texas, the use of prescribed fire also improves landscape resilience, promoting a vibrant and biodiverse ecosystem above the aquifer.” The prescribed burn season usually runs from November through late February. The burns are conducted by a team of trained professionals composed of Austin Water staff from the Wildland Conservation Division, city and county fire departments, and federal, state and local land management agencies.

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