Plano firefighters are working with the parks department to conduct a series of controlled burns at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve this month. The burns are scheduled to take place between the hours of noon and 6 p.m. starting Thursday, Feb. 12. Portions of the park will remain open during this time.

Plano Fire-Rescue's wild land firefighting team will continue its controlled burn efforts at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve starting on Feb. 16. The group is working with the parks department to conduct the burns, the first of which took place on Monday, Feb. 9.

The prescribed burns are scheduled to continue through the rest of the month depending on the weather and will place between noon and 6 p.m. The park will remain open to the public but the concrete trail on the west side of the nature preserve will be closed.

"We want to get all three of our shifts out there to do it so we can kill two birds with one stone – the first to get the burn done to help [the] parks [department] and [the other] to get some actual fire training for our guys," said Capt. Peggy Harrell with Plano Fire-Rescue. "We're mitigating and handling now what could be a real fire hazard in the hot, hot dry months [ahead]."

The departments had scheduled the burns for the same time last year but the weather did not cooperate, Harrell said.

"It's strange because it's not how it looks outside; it's actually the humidity levels that our guys look at," Harrell said. "It could be a pretty day but based on the humidity it may not be a good day for a controlled burn."

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is located at 6701 W. Parker Rd. The 200-acre park features vast areas for walking, jogging, hiking and other outdoor activities. For information, visit