Forest Service Conducts Controlled-Burn Operations

A firefighter using a drip torch on a controlled burn.

October 8, 2021 – The National Forests and Grasslands in Texas conducted a controlled burn on the Stephen F Austin Experimental Forest located south of Nacogdoches and west of Highway 59 on October 5, 2021.

This controlled burn was conducted in partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service, NRCS Plant Materials Center, USFS Southern Research Station, Stephen F Austin College of Forestry, and the Angelina National Forest and Sabine National Forest. The collaborating parties worked together to formulate a plan of action to meet multiple objectives from many agency perspectives. This was a joint effort to implement shared stewardship on a unique section of the Angelina National Forest.

The group's shared vision is to implement controlled burns to this fire-adapted landscape to serve as an example of how controlled burns can reduce fuels to protect both the forest and neighboring lands from wildfire, benefit native wildlife, and improve the overall productivity of a forest. This project is an example of active forest management through collaboration and partnerships to increase the health and productivity of our nation's forests.     

"Our primary concern is for the safety of the public," said National Forests and Grasslands in Texas Fire Management Officer Jamie Sowell. "We want the public to know what we're doing when we conduct burns in the national forest. These are controlled fires conducted by experienced, qualified firefighters who work as a team to ignite, monitor, and ensure that the fire stays within the control lines."

Controlled burning dramatically reduces the chances of a wildfire spreading out of control. In addition, burning underbrush promotes new growth of tender vegetation beneficial to wildlife such as deer, turkey, and birds. And as urban development continues to edge closer to the forest, controlled burning also protects subdivisions, businesses, and transportation corridors from potential wildfires.

The Forest Service is burning only when weather conditions are most favorable and based on daily fire weather forecasts from the National Weather Service. Forest Service fire personnel consider weather conditions and fire behavior before conducting a burn.

For those with respiratory problems, we recommend closing windows and ventilating their homes by using the air conditioning or heating system. Some may want to leave the area until the smoke clears. We encourage anyone sensitive to smoke to contact the local Ranger's Office to provide information so we can notify you in advance of planned burns in your area. If drivers encounter smoke on the road, they should reduce their speed and use low beam lights to become more visible to other traffic.

For more information, visit our website: