FRITCH, TX – Fire managers plan to start implementation of prescribed burns at Lake Meredith National Recreation Area beginning the week of March 6, 2023. Multiple prescribed burns are planned totaling approximately 2,800 acres. Prescribed burning will occur at the North end of the park in the areas of: North Canyon (1,610 acres), Triangle (162 acres), the Stilling Basin (207 acres), South Canyon (528 acres), Fritch Fortress (50 acres) and Sanford Yake (370 acres).Burning is expected to be completed by May 31, 2023. Firefighters will only conduct prescribed fires when conditions are conducive to burning safely, taking into consideration such factors as weather, fuel (vegetation) moisture and availability of firefighters and equipment.
The purpose of the prescribed burns is to reduce the amount of fuel (vegetation) available to burn in the event of a wildfire, thus minimizing the risk to the public and communities surrounding the park including Fritch, Sanford, and Bugbee. This is important as the amount of moisture received in the last six months has caused an above average growth of grass, resulting in several areas of concern. Prescribed burning also provides ecological benefits including the future restoration of Mixed Grass Prairie structure native to the area before European settlement.
The prescribed burns will be conducted as a cooperative effort between the National Park Service, Fritch VFD, Borger FD, Stinnett VFD, Crutch Ranch VFD, Amarillo FD, Potter County VFD, and Randall County VFD.
During the prescribed burn some areas of the park may be closed to the public. Travelers should proceed with caution anytime there is smoke present by reducing vehicle speed and turning on their headlights. While temporary inconveniences may occur during the prescribed burning, the result will ultimately improve safety and recreational opportunities for the public.