What is in this article?:
- NRCS cost share for Texas wildfires totals $33 million
- New fires
- Texas wildfires exact heavy cost.
- Homes, grazing, fencing destroyed.
- Recovery recommendations include prescribed grazing, rejuvenation.
Wildfires across Texas this year have resulted in more than $33 million in lost fencing, pipelines and other farm assets, and that’s just in NRCS cost share funds, according to Bob Stobaugh, Texas Natural Resources Conservation Service state public affairs specialist in Temple.
As of late April, the state office estimated damage from wildfires across the state included:
Zone 1 - In the High Plains and South Plains regions, land owners have lost 12,186,240 feet of cross fencing. Prescribed grazing plans are now recommended on 421,000 acres, including deferred grazing to rejuvenate plant health and prevent soil erosion.
Zone 2 - West Texas rangeland losses include 786,720 feet of cross fencing, 30,000 feet of pipeline and 648,896 acres recommended for prescribed grazing including deferment. The area also lost 18 livestock watering facilities.
Zone 3 – South Texas, in the Coastal Bend region livestock managers lost 105,600 feet of cross fencing and 52,800 feet of livestock pipeline. Prescribed grazing, deferment, is recommended for 25,000 acres.
Zone 4 – East Texas – Tree site preparation - 8,224 acres; deferred grazing is recommended for 409 acres. Also tree and shrub planting is recommended on 8,774 acres and forest stand improvement on 8,453 acres.
Zone 5 – For North-central Texas, brush management is recommended for 45,000 acres. Lost fencing totals 844,800 feet. Prescribed grazing, deferment, is recommended for 120,000 acres; range planting is recommended on 10,000 acres. Also 50 pumping plants were lost.
As of April 26, significant acreage across the state remained in jeopardy for wildfire.
“Critical fire weather over critically dry fuels provides increased potential for significant fires,” he said. (See attached hazards map).
The Texas Forest Service responded to 23 new fires burning 12,726 acres, April 25, including six new large fires. Of the 254 Texas counties 211 report burn bans. The Texas Forest Service was working on 10 major fires that cover more than 530,000 acres.