COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M Forest Service (TAMFS) recently announced it awarded $522,162 to state landowners for the treatment of more than 18,000 acres with prescribed burning.

According to a press release from TAMFS, prescribed burning eliminates brush, weeds, dried vegetation and downed trees. It also fosters seed and plant regeneration, reduces invasive plants and restores soil nutrients.

“Unmanaged vegetation can fuel wildfires,” said Weldon Dent, Texas A&M Forest Service Fuels Specialist in the press release. “Prescribed burning is one way to reduce the risk of large-scale fires while maximizing the benefits of small-scale fires.”

Through four programs targeting different priorities across the state, Texas A&M Forest Service awarded 84 grants for a total of 18,175 acres.

  • The Community Protection Program – Prescribed Fire Grant is available for property owners within 10 miles of a national forest in East Texas as well as property owners within 10 miles of the Caddo and LBJ national grasslands in North Texas.
  • The State Fire Assistance for Mitigation Central and East Texas – Prescribed Fire Grant is available to all counties in the eastern part of the state, from Goliad County in South Texas to Cooke County along the Red River.
  • The Neches River and Cypress Basin Wastershed Restoration Program – Prescribed Fire Grant is for prescribed burning in priority East Texas watersheds.
  • The State Fire Assistance Mitigation – Plains Prescribed Fire Grant is available for residents in parts of the Panhandle, West Texas and South Texas.

More than 300 applications were scored on a competitive basis to select the best use of the funding, TAMFS said.

The grants will reimburse landowners to offset the cost of having a prescribed burn conducted on their property by a certified and insured prescribed burn manager.

Texas A&M Forest Service does not conduct these prescribed burns.

For more information about the prescribed fire grant program, visit tfsweb.tamu.edu/cppgrant.