Playa Lake Farm & Ranch News: Control Burn in Floyd County, February 9th, 2020

Playa Lake Farm & Ranch News: Control Burn in Floyd County, February 9th, 2020

July 27, 2020 by

With help from Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas Tech Natural Resource Management Program, Quail Forever, and local volunteers, we successfully control burned 180 acres of native grassland in Floyd County. 

Bobby Schat of Texas Parks and Wildlife helped guide and assist us in our first control burn process. We first met Bobby at a Quail Forever chapter meeting in Lubbock, Texas. At the meeting, Bobby gave a seminar about control burning and the many benefits it brings to wildlife habitat. Following the meeting, we met with Bobby and arranged a date to evaluate our candidate property in Floyd County. After touring the property, Bobby had concluded that a vast major of the native grasses were low grade. The surface was congested by decaying old growth that did not allow for new growth or an open corridor for juvenile upland species to navigate. Bobby had suggested we put in a firebreak and burn the property to clean the surface of the low grade growth. 

Two weeks later we met Bobby and local volunteers to burn. Bobby first went through the procedures of the control burn with everyone assisting, and then lit a small, manageable fire to gauge wind direction and speed. The wind was blowing lightly out of the north-west at 7-10 MPH. We started at the south-east corner of the property and began burning into the wind. Bobby and volunteers from the Texas Tech Natural Resource Management program walked with diesel drip torches to light starter fires that would then burn with the wind into the firebreak. We had all of the 180 acres burned in under 4 hours, without any run-away fires. 

Thanks to timely spring rain storms, the property quickly took growth. In March, the playa filled to max capacity, flooding the new plant growth in the playa bottom. As a result it was refuge to many Teal, Mallards, Gadwall, and Pintails that were making their way back north to summer nesting grounds in the northern U.S. and Canada. 

The control burn project was a great success, and we give many thanks to everyone that helped make it happen!

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