Prescribed Burn Association Formed To Join State Alliance
Saturday afternoon 18 members of a regional burn “Co-Op” met at the Washington Co. Fair Grounds to form the South Central Texas Prescribed Burn Association, Inc. (SCTPBA). Once incorporation is complete the Association will apply for 501(c)(3) status. Association members grew in number from a few friends on an e-mail list of wildlife habitat owners who were interested in burning off grass and brush as a management technique. The friends list spread from Washington County to Austin, Bastrop, Burleson, Lee, Fayette, and Waller Counties. Dave Redden, leader of the co-op and Larry Joe Doherty, list starter, are President and Vice President, respectively and have habitat in Washington Co. Secretary, Frank Monk is from Austin Co. while Treasurer, Bryan Harris, has land in Lee Co.
The impetus for a more formal Association came from an organizational meeting of the Texas Alliance of Prescribed Burn Associations (TAPBA) held May 27, 2011 in San Angelo, TX. In the wake of raging West Texas wildfires, that meeting drew 9 of the 11 state prescribed burn associations formed to promote the safe use of prescribed burning as a means to reduce growing fuel loads, high grasses, etc., before an uncontrollable wild fire gets sparked. The same build-up of high dry grasses is occurring in this region of Texas as the drought has prolonged a total burn ban on open space burning. “It is a natural pressure cooker, waiting to erupt, again,” said Doherty. Prescribed burning can be done safely, even during a drought. Redden pledged that “SCTPBA will educate, train, and oversee its members in all safe burn procedures before asking the County to approve their burn plans during a burn ban.”
Citizens interested in learning about this ancient practice can contact their local county Texas AgriLife Extension Agent, or their county Texas Parks &Wildlife biologist. For information on joining the SCTPBA, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 979-218-0493.