Prescribed Burning School dates set for 2013

The Academy for Ranch Management has set the dates in 2013 for their annual Prescribed Burning School and Advanced Prescribed Burning School at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research-Sonora Station located on State Highway 55 between Sonora and Rocksprings.

The basic prescribed burning workshop will provide information on the history of fire, weather, planning a burn, fuels and fuel moisture, and equipment. It will be held Feb. 21-23, according to Ray Hinnant, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research senior research associate in College Station and a workshop presenter. The fee for this school is $395.

The Advanced Prescribed Burning School is set for March 7-9, also with a fee of $395. This workshop builds on the previous school, providing more information on fire behavior, fire effects, and planning and conducting a prescribed burn, Hinnant said.

The academy’s primary goal is training ranchers for effective rangeland management, and the focus now is on prescribed burning for rangelands, he said. Prescribed burning is a tool that can be used to manage rangeland vegetation for livestock and wildlife use, and also reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires by removing hazardous fuel loads.

These courses offer hands-on experience for ranch owners, as well as new landowners and absentee landowners who may be several generations removed from the ranch, Hinnant said.

The Academy for Ranch Management is a program of AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M University department of ecosystems science and management in College Station. The Sonora facilities provide a teaching laboratory for hands-on experience, he said.

Hinnant and Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, superintendent of the research station at Sonora, are prescribed-burning board instructors. Other speakers during the two courses include Dr. Mort Kothmann, department of ecosystems science and management professor, and Nick Garza, an AgriLife Research associate at Sonora.

Successful completion of both courses and a passing grade on the exam will provide the educational component to begin application for either a private or commercial certified prescribed burn manager  through the Texas Department of Agriculture, Hinnant said.

The basic course is a prerequisite for the advanced course. For more information, call Hinnant at 979-820-1778, and to register, call Cheryl Yeager at 979-845-5582, or visit to download the registration form.

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