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Contact: Tim Cruze, 806-857-3151
Fritch, TX -- Fire managers plan to conduct prescribed burns at Lake Meredith National Recreation Area. A single prescribed burn is planned totaling approximately 1,200 acres. Prescribed burning will occur at the south end of the park in the Rosita off-road area.
Burning is expected to be completed by March 31, 2016. Firefighters will only conduct prescribed fires when conditions are conducive to burning safely, taking into consideration such factors as weather, fuel (vegetation) moisture and availability of firefighters and equipment.
Fire managers previously treated approximately 2,850 acres in March, 2015, including the North Canyon Unit (1,610 acres), Triangle Unit (62 acres), Spring Canyon Unit (670 acres), the Stilling Basin Unit (207 acres), Water Authority Unit (125 acres) and the south end of the park in the area of Mullinaw Crossing (80 acres).
The purpose of the prescribed burns is to reduce the amount of fuel (vegetation) available to burn in the event of a wildfire, thus minimizing the risk to the public and communities surrounding the park including Fritch, Sanford, and Bugbee areas. This is important as the amount of moisture received in the last six months has caused an above average growth of grass, resulting in several areas of concern. Prescribed burning also provides ecological benefits including the future restoration of Mixed Grass Prairie ecosystem native to the area before European settlement.
The prescribed burns will be conducted under mutual aid agreements between the National Park Service, Taos BLM, Fritch VFD, Borger FD, Stinnett VFD, Hutchinson County VFD, Amarillo FD, Potter County VFD, and Randall County VFD.
During the prescribed burn, some areas of the park may be closed to the public. Travelers should proceed with caution any time there is smoke present by reducing vehicle speed and turning on headlights. While temporary inconveniences may occur during the prescribed burning, the result will ultimately improve safety and recreational opportunities for the public.