Flower Mound's namesake is already recovering from a sweeping grassfire that hit Sept. 19.

More than a month after fire crews extinguished a one-alarm fire caused by nearby construction at The Mound—a giant prairie in the middle of town off Flower Mound Road—the area is already springing back to life, said Diane Weathersbee of The Flower Mound Foundation.

"A fire, even an intense fire like the one that hit The Mound, doesn't really do any harm to the actual growth—if anything, it revives the mound," she said. "That's why we always do these prescribed, practiced burns. We were mostly just worried about how fast this one started."

Weathersbee said the roots of the plants that make up the vegetation on The Mound—bluestem grass, switchgrass and Indian grass, among others—are between 10 and 12 feet deep, which preserves the plant's life when fires hit. It's why fires are a "natural part" of maintaining The Mound—as long as they are planned, Weathersbee said.

"Low, slow, patchy burns is what we prefer," she said. "It's how we maintain growth. Really, going forward, it's business as usual for us—everything is already starting to regrow."

What you need to know

Following an investigation, Flower Mound officials determined a town-contracted construction crew sparked the fire while cutting rebar near the southeast corner of The Mound. Minor damage from the fire was contained to a small area of cedar fencing surrounding The Mound, the fencing behind two homes off Warwick Avenue and a deck to one home off Warwick Avenue, according to a town release.

“Because we’ve done [a controlled burn] so many times before, it was like calling a familiar play from our playbook,” Flower Mound Fire Chief Paul Henley said. “The incident commander on scene already knew exactly where he should be placing his resources and how he should be using those resources. Our firefighters knew how to contain the fire quickly and safely, because they’ve done it in a controlled scenario many times before.”

Despite the size and speed of the grassfire, new growth was spotted five days after the original burn, according to The Mound's Facebook page. Crews with the Flower Mound Foundation have used the time following the burn to clear out more wood-heavy plants that have tried to grow, such as trees and other bushes, Weathersbee said.

Going forward

Weathersbee said there is "little" the foundation or fire departments can do to prevent "unplanned burns" at The Mound, especially during a burn ban. Something as small as throwing a cigarette into the area could cause a grassfire, she said.

In this case, some damage was reported to fences, yards and a deck in the nearby neighborhood, but no damage occurred to nearby homes—thanks in large part to the "defensible space" between The Mound and the surrounding structures, Weathersbee said.

"That's exactly why we have those buffer areas," she said. "We mow a 10-foot-wide perimeter on the sides of adjoining structures, and the fire department credited that for allowing the fire to slow down so they could stop it before it damaged anything."

The Flower Mound Fire Department also has a program in place called Ready, Set, Go—The Wildland Urban Interface Fire Prevention Program that explains anti-grassfire measures residents can take, Weathersbee said. But community vigilance is important, she said, even with fail-safes in place.

"Our neighbors have a responsibility to be fire wise," she said.