A controlled or prescribed burn, also known as hazard reduction burning, backfire, swailing, or a burn-off, is a fire set intentionally for purposes of forest management, farming, prairie restoration, or greenhouse gas abatement. Maas Verde Landscape Restoration was hired to safely execute a prescribed burn on a property in Central Texas to reduce dead biomass build-up, decrease non-native plant competition, increase the potential for other native species to take hold, increase soil temperature by allowing sunlight to hit the ground instead of dead thatch, and control Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei) encroachment.
Because safely executing a controlled burn relies on varied factors like the weather and humidity, it can be a challenge to schedule a burn. The conditions have to be within a certain range in order for a burn to be executed safely and confidently. During the event, clear and consistent communication of safety procedures is critical for a successful outcome.
The Maas Verde team held a safety and procedure meeting before splitting up into groups and using radios to stay in constant communication across the fields. Two ATVs carrying water tanks and sprayers were employed, and drip torches were used to ignite burn lines. One crew was dedicated solely to ensuring the fire did not jump the mowed lines. This client is a repeat client on a cadence of every 24 months for sustainable land management.