|The Houston Fire Department (HFD), in close collaboration with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center (HANC) will be conducting a prescribed fire at the Houston Arboretum near IH 610 West Loop and Woodway Drive.
A prescribed fire will aid in reducing potential fire threats, due to years of vegetation accumulation. Years of vegetation accumulation presents a significant wildland fire threat to the surrounding residential community. The reduction of fuel load, through a prescribed fire, is the appropriate safety step in protecting surrounding residents and their homes.
The prescribed fire is scheduled between March 21-April 21, weather permitting.
HFD’s wildland firefighters will be performing and overseeing the entire prescribed fire to establish continuity and the swift mitigation of potential life safety hazards. HFD will also be coordinating with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Houston Health Department to establish clean air (atmospheric) monitoring during the prescribed fire.
“This proactive approach is the most practical way to reduce dangerous accumulation of combustible fuels and protect our community by reducing the risk of unwanted wildfires in the future. Our wildland firefighting group and emergency operations personnel, in collaboration with our safety partners, will ensure a professional controlled burn operation”, says Fire Chief Samuel Peña.
HFD will be canvassing adjacent neighborhoods with literature to ensure citizens are aware and well informed. One of HFD’s many goals preceding the prescribed fire is to educate the public and protect the interface between the neighborhood and the Arboretum. During the burn period, individuals may see smoke in their area or on nearby roads. HFD is requesting citizens near the burn site to refrain from calling 911. HFD cautions drivers to reduce their speed, use headlights when smoke is present, and always pay attention to posted reduced speed limits. Nearby roadways and trails may be posted with signs indicating “prescribed fire ahead.”