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Fort Worth, Texas News

Fort Worth Park & Recreation Uses Prescribed Fires to Enhance Safety and Environment

Fort Worth Park & Recreation is leading the way in using prescribed fire as an effective tool for reducing wildfire risks, enhancing public safety, and enriching the local ecosystem.

Prescribed fire is a meticulously planned process. It involves strict adherence to safety protocols and acquiring necessary permits to ensure minimal community impact. Fort Worth Park & Recreation collaborates closely with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the City of Fort Worth Bureau of Fire Prevention to develop and execute these fire plans safely and effectively.

So far, prescribed burns have been conducted at several locations, including Chisholm Trail Community Center, Casino Beach Park, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, and the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.

The benefits of prescribed fires extend beyond safety. “We have seen a large increase in the number of plant and pollinator species in the burned areas this spring,” said Jared Hall, a natural resource specialist at Park & Recreation. “Important native plants that were not present before the burn have emerged, and new plant colonization has occurred in areas previously covered with leaf litter and dead plant materials.”

These changes make the areas more productive and provide more resources for wildlife. After a burn, the area remains black until rain washes the ash into the soil and new plants begin to grow. The results are significant, with exponentially more wildflowers appearing in the burned areas.

Future prescribed fires are planned for Rolling Hills Tree Farm, Rock Creek Ranch Park, Arcadia Trail Park North, and Tandy Hills. “We will slowly add new parks to the rotation as we have time to work through the planning and permitting processes,” Hall added.

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