Prescribed burn planned for BRIT prairie

Published on January 12, 2021

There will be a prescribed burn of the BRIT prairie at 2 p.m. Jan. 13. The prairie is at the corner of Trail Drive and University Drive.

The event represents multiple organizations collaborating for numerous scientific, educational and community benefits.

“This burn serves many purposes, but from our perspective, the most important is changing cultural mindsets toward acceptance of prescribed burning in Fort Worth parks, urban areas, Dallas-Fort Worth and throughout the state,” said Daniel Price, natural resource manager with the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.

The Fort Worth Fire Department will be on scene to ensure safety of the participants. The FWFD wildland team has traveled nationally to respond to wildfires on the West Coast. The highly trained team will use this prescribed burn as a way to educate the attending organizations on the role they play in wildland management and the importance of regulating and managing wildlife refuge locally.

For the Fort Worth Botanic Garden/Botanical Research Institute of Texas (FWBG|BRIT), the prescribed burn represents an opportunity for scientists and educators who will use resulting data for research and teaching.

“The science initiatives that drive a prescribed burn will allow our program designers to use collected plant and soil data, along with photos and videos, to create new, exceptional educational programming,” said Tracy Friday, vice president for education with FWBG|BRIT. Friday said that the prescribed burn also gives students and teachers the chance to view the event through an environmental STEM -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- lens.

Other partners involved in the planned prescribed burn are U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas A&M Forest Service and the Texas Prescribed Fire Council.

Both Price and Friday agreed that the prescribed burn will help inform naturalists, researchers, educators and others. “The most important thing to remember is that ecological impacts from prescribed burning are not accomplished by just one burn,” Price said. “It will take multiple burns and perhaps a decade or more before any positive ecological changes are made.”

The event will be livestreamed on the Fort Worth Fire Department Facebook page beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday. FWBG|BRIT will launch a watch party of that feed.