Houston Fire Department to conduct prescribed fire at Houston Arboretum on Thursday morning

The Houston Fire Department has announced that a prescribed fire will be conducted at the Houston Arboretum on Thursday morning. 

Officials said the fire will begin around 9 a.m. near IH-610 West Loop and Woodway Drive. 

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A prescribed fire will aid in reducing potential fire threats, due to years of vegetation accumulation. Years of vegetation accumulation present a significant wildland fire threat to the surrounding residential community. The reduction of fuel load, through a prescribed fire, is the appropriate safety step in protecting surrounding residents and their homes, officials said. 

HFD’s wildland firefighters will be performing and overseeing the entire prescribed fire to establish continuity and the swift mitigation of potential life safety hazards. HFD will also be coordinating with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Houston Health Department to establish clean air (atmospheric) monitoring during the prescribed fire.

"This proactive approach is the most practical way to reduce dangerous accumulation of combustible fuels and protect our community by reducing the risk of unwanted wildfires in the future. Our wildland firefighting group and emergency operations personnel, in collaboration with our safety partners, will ensure a professional controlled burn operation," said Fire Chief Samuel Peña.

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During the burn period, individuals may see smoke in their area or on nearby roads. HFD is requesting citizens near the burn site to refrain from calling 911. HFD cautions drivers to reduce their speed, use headlights when smoke is present, and always pay attention to posted reduced speed limits. Nearby roadways and trails may be posted with signs indicating "prescribed fire ahead."

For more information and updates about the HFD’s and the Houston Arboretum’s controlled burn, click here