COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — According to officials with Texas A&M Forest Service, around $522,162 worth of grants were awarded to the Forest Service to assist Texas landowners to put towards prescribed burning for the treatment of land.

The technique, officials noted, is an effective way to reduce the risk of wildfires along with promote a healthy forest ecosystem as it eliminates brush, weeds, and dried vegetation while restoring soil nutrition.

Officials detailed that 84 grants were awarded through four programs across the state that will assist in the nurture of around 18,175 acres of land.

“Unmanaged vegetation can fuel wildfires,” said Weldon Dent, Texas A&M Forest Service Fuels Specialist. “Prescribed burning is one way to reduce the risk of large-scale fires while maximizing the benefits of small-scale fires.” 

At least one of the programs, according to officials, was made available in every county in Texas with the program’s grants set to “reimburse landowners to offset the cost of having a prescribed burn conducted on their property by a certified and insured prescribed burn manager.”

Officials listed the four programs that assisted with the grant funds:

  • The Community Protection Program — available for property owners within 10 miles of a national forest in East Texas along worth property owners within 10 miles of the Caddo and LBJ national grasslands in North Texas;
  • The State Fire Assistance for Mitigation Central and East Texas — available to all counties in the eastern part of the state from Goliad County to South Texas to Cooke County along the Red River;
  • The Neches River and Cypress Basin Watershed Restoration Program — for prescribed burning in East Texas watersheds;
  • The State Fire Assistance Mitigation — available for residents in parts of the Panhandle, West Texas, and South Texas.

Officials noted that grant recipients must select an insured prescribed burn manager in order to be eligible for reimbursement.

Visit the Texas A&M Forest Service website for information on prescribed burning and grant funds.