Travis County Parks and Travis County Natural Resources plan to conduct multiple prescribed burns the week of September 28, 2020. The first prescribed burn is planned for Tuesday at the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve’s Nootsie Tract. If conditions remain favorable, two prescribed burns are planned at East Metropolitan Park between Wednesday and Friday.

The prescribed burns will occur between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., and will take approximately two to four hours to complete. Following the burns, County staff and other partners will work to ensure the fire has been fully extinguished. This process can take multiple days and neighbors may see smoke during this time.

Travis County Parks is conducting the prescribed burns in cooperation with personnel from Travis County Natural Resources, local fire departments, and natural resource agencies.

The prescribed burns have multiple objectives. The prescribed burn at the Nootsie Tract is intended to restore native grasslands by removing invasive grasses, and enhancing the health and diversity of the native plant and wildlife community. The area will also be re-seeded with native grass species. At East Metropolitan Park, the prescribed burns are intended to enhance the post oak savanna vegetation community by removing brush and reducing the amount of dead woody fuels.

The prescribed burns will be conducted with multiple wind directions. North winds are anticipated at the Nootsie Tract which will carry smoke to the south across the preserve and then to nearby communities. At East Metropolitan Park, both north and south winds are expected and the burn units will be selected to minimize smoke impacts to the closest receptors. However, due to the small size of the prescribed burns and the distance between the prescribed burns and the adjacent communities, smoke impacts are expected to be relatively light.

The Nootsie Tract is located at 9512 FM 620, Austin, TX 78726.

Media note: Please call the PIO (contact listed below) for additional information. The project is relatively remote and access will be limited.

East Metropolitan Park is located at 18706 Blake Manor Road, Manor, TX 78653.

Media note: The Park will remain open. There may be a PIO or staff available for interviews. Please call the Park Supervisor (contact listed below) for more information.

  • Hector Nieto, Travis County PIO, 956-251-2902
  • Glen Gillman, Park Land Manager, 512-844-7480
  • Johanna Arendt, Natural Resources Community Liaison, 512-854-1688
  • Jack Vaughan, East Metropolitan Park Supervisor (Interim), 512-400-1914

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