Fire is a natural factor in the Big Thicket. Certain plant communities need periodic fires to control invasive plants and insect pests, to recycle nutrients into the soil, and to create a more open understory for new plant growth. Frequent low-intensity fires also remove fuels that can lead to catastrophic wildfires if left to accumulate.
In 2015, Big Thicket National Preserve's Fire Management Team received the Ken Castro Memorial "Excellence in Wildland Fire Management" award in recognition of their work in the preserve, in the local area, and throughout the NPS. During the previous year, the team planned and assisted with burn operations at four other NPS areas, including Yellowstone National Park and Padre Island National Seashore.
This is the second time the Fire Management Team has received this award; the previous time was in 2011.
Last updated: January 12, 2018