WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A prescribed burn served as a training session for firefighters in the area.
Not only does this prescribed burn help these firefighters train, but it also helps Sheppard Air Force base train their pilots.
With the Texas heat already ablaze, the Wichita Falls Fire Department decided to bring a little more heat with a prescribed burn at Old Friberg Church Road.
“For us, the more that we get to practice, the better it is,” Wichita Falls Fire Department assistant chief Donald Hughes said. “So these guys get their hands on the torches and they get to learn about fire behavior and see how it travels. This is kind of a unique area right here. We got a little bit of elevation change and with these brush piles in here too it’s gonna be a little bit different. Just be some good training. It’s always good to get out here and burn.”
This prescribed burn is a mitigation project that is designed to lower large bird activity in the Sheppard Air Force Base airfield area; something that has haunted Sheppard AFB in the past.
“It’s a matter of safety for the military and the civilian aircraft that use the airfield here,” Sheppard Air Force Base fire chief David Mounsey said.
“Sheppard has inspectors that come in all the time and a lot of their issues that they’re getting have been written up for are a lot of the birds that live in this area. It’s just a danger to the pilots. Hopefully, if we get this area cleaned out it’ll help,” Hughes said.
With this burn, firefighters get to train, Sheppard gets to clear the skies and the landowner gets some free maintenance.
Chief Hughes said the owner of the land that was burned plans to plant wheat in that land.