This strategy of land management protects ground water and increases water flow into the aquifer by reducing brush and promoting grasslands.
Prescribed burns are planned this summer season on Austin’s Water Quality Protection Lands in Hays County. Approximately 450 acres will be treated with prescribed fire this August-November.
The Water Quality Protection Lands (WQPL) program protects more than 28,000 acres that are managed for the quality and quantity of water recharging the Edwards Aquifer, which provides water to both Barton Springs and to groundwater wells in Hays and Travis Counties. Austin Water’s Wildland Conservation Division manages the lands.
“Conducting prescribed burns is one of the strategies used to manage these lands and protect groundwater in Central Texas," said Luke Ball, Austin Water Wildland Conservation Division. “Prescribed burns improve the resiliency of our land when they are used as a planned seasonal management tool.”
Prescribed burns mimic the natural fire cycle in a way that can be planned and organized to limit fire intensity. Frequent, low-intensity understory fires serve both natural landscapes and human communities by reducing the potential for destructive wildfires. Prescribed fire contributes to increased water flow into the aquifer by reducing brush and promoting grasslands.
Austin Water uses wildland firefighters who are highly trained professionals, from fire departments and land management agencies, and ensures that safety is their primary objective. Crews include staff from county, state and federal organizations. All personnel meet specific training, experience, fitness and personal protective equipment requirements for the position they perform on the fireline. The prescription for each fire takes into account weather conditions– including wind and past precipitation – and requires specific parameters for the burn to ensure the fire behavior will meet objectives and can be safely controlled.
Wildland Conservation staff has seen wildflowers and native grass communities experience a boost in biodiversity after prescribed fires.
Sign up for notifications and more
Austin Water will notify the public and neighbors before each prescribed burn event. Notifications will include maps with the specific location.
- Neighbors or anyone interested, can sign up for Austin Water's Prescribed Fire Notification at ttp://eepurl.com/guB2Gn to receive periodic notifications about prescribed burns planned on Austin Water Wildlands.
Follow regular updates about prescribed burns at:
For more information, please visit www.austintexas.gov/rxfire
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