The air is a little smokey in Amarillo, and it has us wondering if there is a fire or what's going on?

Turns out it's prescribed burning. According to Wikipedia a prescribed burn is, "Hazard reduction or controlled burning is conducted during the cooler months to reduce fuel buildup and decrease the likelihood of serious hotter fires."

Also, "Controlled burning stimulates the germination of some desirable forest trees, and reveals soil mineral layers which increases seedling vitality, thus renewing the forest. Some cones, such as those of Lodgepole Pine and Sequoia, are serotinous, as well as many chaparral shrubs, meaning they require heat from fire to open cones to disperse seeds."

Prescribed burns are done in the cooler months when there isn't much wind of course. Spring and Fall season are prime for burns.

Pretty interesting stuff. While we do not have confirmed reports of why there is prescribed burning in Amarillo, we are thinking it could be because we haven't had much moisture and they are limited the amount of fuel for the dry season we are about to face.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife gives a great explanation of Controlled Burns.

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