The Fort Worth Park & Recreation Department has completed prescribed burns at four city parks.

Several more parks are scheduled to undergo the procedure in the near future.

The details

The Fort Worth Park & Recreation department collaborates with the Fort Worth Bureau of Fire Prevention and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to execute safe and effective prescribed fire plans. A prescribed fire—also referred to as a "planned fire" or "controlled burn"—is a tool that fire prevention officials use to manage public lands. According to a city news release, prescribed fires can accomplish the following goals:
  • Reducing wildfire risks
  • Enhancing public safety
  • Enriching the local ecosystem
The news release states that in order to accomplish these goals in a safe manner that guarantees minimal impact to the surrounding community, prescribed fires involve rigorous planning, strict adherence to safety protocols and acquiring various permits.

According to the news release, prescribed burns have been conducted at the following parks in Fort Worth:
  • Chisholm Trail Community Center
  • Casino Beach Park
  • Fort Worth Botanic Garden
  • Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
Future planned prescribed burns are scheduled for Rolling Hills Tree Farm, Rock Creek Ranch Park, Arcadia Trail Park North and Tandy Hills. More areas will be added to the prescribed burn schedule as planning and permitting allows, according to the news release.

A closer look

The news release states that following a burn, the area will remain black until rains wash the ash into the soil and new plants start growing again. Natural Resource Specialist in the Park & Recreation Department Jared Hall said that once the area recovers, it is more productive in terms of plants and provides more resources to wildlife.

Quote of note

“We have seen many important native plants pop up after the fire that were not present before the burn,” Hall said. “We have also seen new plant colonization in areas that lacked plants due to excessive accumulations of leaf litter and other dead plant materials that shade out new plants from growing.”