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Contact: Dimitra Guerrero, (3610 949-8173 x229
Acting Superintendent Betty Frantum announced today that Padre Island National Seashore will be conducting a prescribed burn, adhering to the goals of the National Fire Plan passed by Congress in 2001. The prescribed burn will take place on Thursday, March 8, 2007, weather permitting. The park will burn approximately 1,439 acres of coastal grassland prairie Northwest of Bird Island Basin Road.
Visitors traveling to Bird Island Basin and on Park Road 22 may experience brief traffic delays and impacts to their park experience as a result of the smoke. Visitors are encouraged to visit the Visitor Center, Gulf Beaches, or the Malaquite Beach Campground in the event of heavy smoke.
Prescribed Burns help reduce fuels and improve resource conditions. Fire personnel are igniting the burn at this time of year when fuel moisture levels are still high to minimize control issues. Prescribed burning is an important resource management tool used to maintain a healthy ecosystem by eradicating invasive plant species and preventing an overabundance of vegetative growth, both of which are normally controlled by fires started by natural means such as lightning strikes.
Unlike wild fires, which happen randomly, putting lives and property at risk, prescribed burns are planned to occur in a time and place of the park’s choosing in order to eliminate risks to people and structures. Sufficient park and emergency personnel are present at every step of the prescribe burn process to prevent the fire’s uncontrolled spread and to extinguish it whenever desired.