By now, you may have already heard the news about Plano Parks and Recreation and Plano Fire-Rescue teaming up for a series of prescribed burns at Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve.
The controlled burns are expected to begin on Monday, Jan. 28, with subsequent burns taking place throughout the month of February. As news of the upcoming burns continues to spread (no pun intended), we are receiving inquiries from residents regarding the fire’s effects on wildlife and on those with asthma or other breathing-related problems. Here are some important things you should know about this upcoming burn:
The burns are expected to take place in areas west of Jupiter Road. A map showing the proposed burn areas can be found here.
Controlled burns will be conducted on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This time frame allows both firefighters and park personnel to be on site to supervise the fires. Burns may begin and end earlier depending on factors such as burn rate and humidity.
Weather and wind conditions are closely monitored prior to and during each burnIf the wind is blowing anywhere in the direction of a neighborhood, the burn will be rescheduled. The containment of these burns are orchestrated in a way that residents around that area should not be affected.
As Plano’s largest park, Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve boasts 800 acres of open land. Plano Parks and Recreation and Plano Fire-Rescue have identified certain areas within the preserve that will benefit from the burn. Plano Fire-Rescue will also be accompanied by members of the Dallas and Frisco fire departments to provide additional supervision.
The preserve will remain open during the burnsWith the exception of the immediate areas and trails that are being burned, of course.
We adhere to the Texas A&M Forest Service’s Smoke Management PlanThis plan monitors winds, humidity and other factors through the National Weather Forecast Database up to the last minute before the burn. Winds must be less than 15 mph in order to conduct the burn.
We have kept the best interest of wildlife in mindPlano Parks and Recreation has specifically planned the burn for this time of year in order to complete it before the native wildlife starts breeding and ground birds start nesting. During the prescribed burn, animals that can burrow will and other animals will keep their distance. The burn will benefit the wildlife by reducing invasive species and thatch build-up. In addition, by exposing bare soil, we are able to plant native flower and grass seed, which is what native wildlife prefers.
Signs will be placed throughout the park indicating the day and time of the event several days before each prescribed burn.
If you have any questions, please visit the Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve web page or call 972-941-7250.