COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M Forest Service is now accepting grant applications for the State Fire Assistance for Mitigation – Plains Prescribed Fire Grant through August 15, 2022.
Prescribed fire is the planned application of a low-intensity fire to the landscape by fire and fuel specialist. The practice is a strategic, planned land management tool that uses fire to achieve set goals and are planned in accordance with applicable laws, policies and regulations.
“Just some of the many benefits that prescribed fire offers to rangeland ecosystems include an increase in overall vegetation health, enhancement of wildlife habitat and suppression of non-native species,” said Jake Gosschalk, Texas A&M Forest Service Program Specialist. “A critical benefit is protecting communities from destructive wildfires by reducing the hazardous fuel build up to create resilient landscapes.”
Funding will be provided to landowners and communities that have been or may be threatened by wildland fire, with a target of reducing hazardous fuel loads. Properties near communities in the panhandle, northwest, west and south Texas at a risk for loss during a wind-driven wildfire are eligible.
“These grants will be used to conduct cool season prescribed burns – reducing the overall amount of vegetation on the landscape so it doesn’t build up over time becoming hazardous fuel,” said Gosschalk. “Historically, frost-killed vegetation has been the catalyst for many large fires in Texas.”
Priority will be given to treatment sites that provide protection to the highest risk communities based on the Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal, are located near homes and contain ecosystems that will benefit from prescribed fire.
“Landowners that practice prescribed fire as a management tool are choosing to not only reduce risk, but also to return the land to a more natural state by removing old thatch and making way for fresh green growth,” said Gosschalk.
Grant recipients will be reimbursed actual per acre costs associated with conducting the prescribed burn up to $30 per acre with a limit of 800 acres per recipient. All burns must be conducted by a Certified and Insured Prescribed Burn Manager.
View the interactive map to check eligibility and complete the online application here: https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/PrescribedFireGrantsApplication/.
For more information on wildfire preparedness visit: https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/content/landing.aspx?id=19841 and https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/ProtectYourCommunity/.