Prescribed Fire set for 2007
The Prescribed Fire program resumed on February 21 at Washita Battlefield National Historic Site according to Park Superintendent Wendy Lauritzen. “National Park Service fire specialists from Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Bandelier National Monument, and the USDA Black Kettle National Grassland crews began burning late Wednesday morning, and finished by 4:30 pm. The fire crews safely burned about 100 acres”.
After last year’s burn ban, two portions of the 315-acre park were burned, catching up and following the multi-year restoration of native prairie grassland in this historic landscape. The 67-acre Southeast Field and the 33-acre Southwest Field should begin green-up soon with warmer weather. The fires were closely monitored for 24 hours and fire personnel did not leave until there was no smoke.
The purpose of these prescribed fires is to reduce the buildup of grassy fuels that feed wildfires and to reintroduce fire into the ecosystem. These fires will help the traditional plant distribution and reduce the danger associated with wildfires while improving conditions for firefighter safety in the event wildfires do occur in these areas.
The burn occurred when prevailing wind conditions were blowing most of the smoke from the town of Cheyenne and toward less populated areas. Park trails were closed temporarily during the prescribed burn but the site reopened afterwards.
For more information, please contact the park headquarters at (580) 497-2742.
Did You Know?
The distant hills north of Washita Battlefield are called the Horseshoe Hills. These hills were formed as a result of erosion of the softer surrounding material about 250 million years ago, leaving the harder Doxey Shale behind.