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Prescribed Burn Workshop set for Aug. 8-10 near Sonora, TX

SONORA – The Academy for Ranch Management will host a Prescribed Burning School Aug. 8-10, 2013 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research-Sonora Station located on State Highway 55 between Sonora and Rocksprings.

The workshop will provide information on the history of fire, weather, planning a burn, fuels and fuel moisture, and equipment, according to Ray Hinnant, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research senior research associate in College Station and a workshop presenter.

The fee for this workshop is $395, payable upon registration, plus a $45 facilities-use fee that will be payable to the AgriLife Research station upon arrival, 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, 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.

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.

The basic course is a prerequisite for the Advanced Prescribed Burning School, which provides more information on fire behavior, fire effects, and planning and conducting a prescribed burn, he said.

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.

For more information, call Ray Hinnant at 979-820-1778 (, and to register, call Jeanne Andreski at 979-862-2128 or visit to download the registration form.

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608,

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