Posted: Mar 5, 2012 6:59 PM
Updated: Mar 5, 2012 6:05 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Flames shot nearly 20 feet high near a Brownsville neighborhood. Several acres were scorched, and nearby homes were put on watch as a result of the fire that was deliberately set.
Thad Herzberger with U.S. Fish and Wildlife helped set the fire. He did it to protect you.
"There's two reasons. One is to take out the dead and down and let the vegetation come up healthier. Second, it will help in fuel reduction in wildfires," says Herzberger.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife firefighters torched this state wetland.
"It will help protect the houses in the area," says Herzberger.
Too much growth is a hazard to everyone around.
"It helps us control some invasive plants," says Jennifer Owen-White, manager with U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
Overgrowth chokes out vegetation.
"Burning off everything just replenishes it. It revitalizes the soil," says Herzberger.
The plants shouldn't be going here. They put nearby communities at greater risk for floods.
"Wetlands can soak up a lot of water. Having them in good conditions keeps us an avenue to soak up water from floods and protecting homes," says Owen-White.
Burning it is the only way to get rid of it.
"We run a prescribed burn just like a wildfire. We have organizational structures," says Herzberger.
This is Herzberger's practice run. The fire is a way to sharpen skills so he and his men are ready to keep you protected.
The burn finished up Monday afternoon. Fire crews will continue to monitor the area to make sure nothing rekindles.