King Ranch Fire Explained

King Ranch Fire Explained

7 February 2008

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USA — The out of control brush fire on the King Ranch got a lot of mediaattention. What started out as a routine burn quickly turned into an inferno.Butch Thompson is the wildlife and range manager for the King Ranch. He showedus why those controlled burns are needed. He showed us the results of a firethat broke out last month near ranch headquarters.

You could see that green grass is now covering what once was full of dead drygrass and weeds. The field next to that one is full of that dry grass and brush.Mr. Thompson told us the controlled burns are something that’s been done on thepraries for hundreds of year, “this goes all the way back to the Indianswho were indigenous to this area they used to burn the prairies off annually tocause fresh green grass for the animals they hunted so it’s nothing new we’vebeen doing it for many many years.” Texas Forest Service officials agreethat control burns help form a fire barrier for future grassfires and they fuelthe development of nutrient rich grass for animals to graze.

Maurice Martinez is with the Texas Forest Service out ofKingsville,”fire is the most effective tool to put out there for prescribedburning range management you start looking at the typical acreage that typicalranches have to manage it would take awhile with an implement to go out thereand do some of this brush control on top of that it’s costly.” And in caseof another fire in the area, state fire crews are standing by ready to step into help the King Ranch or anyone else who finds themselves in real fire trouble.

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