TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Austin Water alerted customers it will conduct prescribed burns this winter on its water quality protection lands south of Austin.
That area is off FM 967 between FM 1826 and FM 1626.
The prescribed burn season runs from November through late February to mimic the natural fire cycle of a healthy ecosystem, according to the utility. The burns help eliminate overgrown brush, reduce the intensity of potential wildfires and restore native grasslands.
Great planning and care go into conducting prescribed burns, Austin Water said, and weather conditions like wind and past precipitation are evaluated before a burn is started to ensure it can be controlled. Personnel from Austin Water, firefighters and state and local land management agencies all play a role in the process.
Austin Water said it manages more than 30,000 acres of wildlands to protect the groundwater that recharges the Edwards Aquifer.
Savannah ecosystems can be found in the water quality protection lands, and wildflowers and native grasses thrive after prescribed burns, Austin Water explained. Wildlife like grassland birds also benefits from prescribed burns from newly opened spaces for nesting and feeding.
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Austin Water said it will notify the public and neighbors before each prescribed burn event. These notifications will include maps of the specific location.