With a plan benefiting two city departments, Plano Fire-Rescue’s Wildland Firefighting team will work with Plano’s Park Department to conduct a prescribed burn at the city’s Arbor Hills Nature Preserve Tuesday.
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve consists of three ecological areas: blackland prairie, upland forests and riparian zones. Management of the blackland prairie areas has consisted of large tractor mowing twice a year and this has resulted in a thick layer of thatch that reduces the amount of exposed soil necessary for prairie grass and flower seeds to germinate and perpetuate their species. It also allows invasive plant species to come in and take over the natural prairie ecosystems.
Tuesday’s prescribed fire planned by Plano Fire-Rescue and Plano Parks will be a carefully controlled burn conducted beginning at 10:00 am depending on weather conditions. The fire will be conducted under defined fuel and weather conditions with a written plan and overseen by Plano Fire-Rescue firefighters trained in wildland firefighting.
While benefitting the park property, the burn will also provide a real-life training opportunity for the city’s Wildland firefighters who have been trained in wildfire suppression meeting the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s standards. The park will remain open to the public during the burn but the concrete trail on the west side of the nature preserve will be closed.