La Marque Fire Department clearing brush around the lake in preparation for Kids Fish event. Mac McGaffey Highland Bayou Park will be closed Tuesday.
Mac McGaffey Highland Bayou Park will be closed Tuesday, January 7, 2020, as La Marque Fire Department performs a prescribed burn to clear brush around one of the lakes, creating more fishing opportunities for park users. The fire will take place between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., with little-to-no impact expected on citizens of La Marque.
“In our ongoing efforts to improve our parks in the City of La Marque, we scheduled a prescribed burn at Highland Bayou Park tomorrow,” said City Manager Tink Jackson. “The burn will serve multiple purposes. It will open additional opportunities for the use of the lake, increase safety at the park, and improve aesthetics. We apologize for any inconvenience it may cause short term, but the benefits will be long-lasting.”
According to La Marque Fire Department Captain Brennan Briggs, weather analysis marks Tuesday as an ideal burn scenario.
“NNE winds and no chance of rain should give us low humidity and provide a good lift to our smoke,” said Briggs. “The burn will have very little, if any, impact to the surrounding area.”
The prescribed fire comes as a preparation for City Manager Tink Jackson’s Inaugural Kids Fish event, scheduled at the park on March 7, 2020. The cleared ground will provide new vantage points for shore fishing at Highland Bayou Park, as well as provide hands-on experience to La Marque fire personnel in a controlled environment.
La Marque Fire Department arranged three full crews during the burn, along with multiple fire apparatus. La Marque Public Works will also be on site.
“Due to the isolation of the burn area, and its location surrounded by water, our risk analysis determined that we have more than adequate resources to complete this project safely,” said Briggs.
Prescribed fires are low intensity and conducted under strict and specific circumstances. The fire at Highland Bayou Park will:
- Clear an overgrown area and allow for the development of new park amenities
- Reduce hazardous fuels, protecting human communities from extreme fires
- Remove unwanted species that threaten species native to an ecosystem
- Improve habitat for threatened and endangered species
- Recycle nutrients back to the soil
- Promote the growth of trees, wildflowers, and other plants
When the prescribed fire is completed, La Marque Public Works will stay on-site to monitor conditions, and to remove as much surface ash as possible to prevent park users from contaminating clothing.
Highland Bayou Park is expected to reopen Wednesday, January 8, 2020. For updates on the January 7, 2020, prescribed fire, follow La Marque Fire Department on Facebook. For questions or concerns, call 409-938-9255 or visit concern.cityoflamarque.org.