to South Central Texas Prescribed Burn Association
SCTPBA is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit association of landowners and others who have expressed
an interest in helping each other conduct prescribed burns. We are also a member of the “Prescribed Burn Alliance of Texas (PBAT).”
is what we can do for you as a member of SCTPBA.
- Once you have joined, you will be on our members e-mail
list. Please keep me updated with
any changes in your e-mail or other contact information. When it is time to burn on your place,
we will need directions or an address that we can locate on a mapping
program such as Google Maps.
- We will inform you by e-mail when one of our members
is conducting a prescribed burn.
You are welcome to participate.
This is a good way to learn.
Depending upon your training and experience with prescribed burns
you will either be given a support role so that you can safely observe the
activities, or an active role in the burn if you are ready for that. Participation is voluntary, but the
expectation is that if you want others to help you with your burn, you
will need to help them with their burn.
If you want to burn on your place, you have to have helped with at
least two burns before the others will help you.
- We will keep you informed of training opportunities
sponsored by NRCS or TPWD or other organizations. We plan to conduct our own training
- We can help you prepare a written burn plan that meets
accepted standards using a format agreed to by all of the Prescribed Burn Associations in Texas that are members of PBAT. The plan must still be reviewed and accepted by SCTPBA.
- We can assist you in contacting the Texas
Organization of Wildlife Management Associations (TOWMA) to have access to
a Prescribed Burn Trailer, which will have the tools necessary to conduct
a burn safely. The trailer is
currently being kept in La Grange by TPWD staff, Bobby Eichler. You can
contact him directly to arrange to rent the trailer if you need the
equipment. Contact him at
tel.: (979) 255-8477(mob) or (979)
968-9942 (office) or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You will learn what tools are necessary and will
likely want to have some of your own.
In general, I suggest you wait until you have been on at least one
burn before you buy any tools.
However, one tool that is important regardless of your role is a
two-way radio. The FRS/GMRS radios
available today are adequate for our needs. If you do not already have some,
consider getting 5-watt GMRS units.
You can get a pair for less than $100. Often the type of rechargeable batteries
used determines the cost for the unit.
Be sure you know what you are getting. You can also get workable units for less
than $50, usually without rechargeable batteries. These are available at discount stores
and home hardware stores as well as online. Any that you buy will be compatible with
any similar FRS/GMRS radios that someone else may have. Note that GMRS radios require a license, but FRS radios do not. Please discuss this with me if you have questions about which you should get.
- Other tools that you will want to consider in the
future are: drip torches, pressure sprayers (backpack or ATV mounted
units), weather monitors, fire swatters, specialty rakes, shovels, and hoes. This equipment is on the
trailer that can be rented from TOWMA/TPWD.
- Safety items that you will need are heavy cotton or
leather gloves, long-sleeve cotton shirt and pants or specialty fire
retardant or fire resistant (FR) clothing. Synthetics
(especially nylon) tend to melt and stick to the skin causing really nasty
burns and should not be worn. A
bandana or smoke mask is helpful at times, and a cotton (at least not
straw) brimmed hat will help shield the face when close to the flame. Leather boots are far preferred over
jogging shoes or even low-cut leather shoes. An ash in your shoe is very
- A few good sources for special equipment are:
best thing you can be doing in preparation for a burn on you place is to decide
what areas you want to burn and start getting firebreaks around them. A minimum of 10-ft break is required. Fifteen
feet is better. Bare ground is best;
low, green vegetation is sometimes suitable.
Presence of cedar or juniper or other materials considered “volatile
material” could mean wider firebreaks are required. Burns are usually done in winter after a
freeze and before green-up starts (this can be as late as early March). Burn bans imposed by the county commissioners
further restrict the time available to get burns done. Some counties have processes allowing us to burn during a burn ban. So, you need to plan early, get firebreaks in
place, and be prepared to go as soon as weather is suitable. Coordination with the SCTPBA members is
critical if you need their assistance.
should get you started. Now check with
you insurance agent and make sure that you are covered for prescribed burns in
your Homeowner’s or Farm and Ranch liability insurance. If
not, you will need to buy a separate policy.
It appears that some Homeowner’s or Farm and Ranch policies do cover
discuss your plans with your neighbors and make sure they are open to the
idea. You are liable for any damage
caused by an accident. You are not
allowed by state law to let smoke cause a health problem for people, animals,
or sensitive plants.
you for your interest in working with us.
I look forward to working with you.