Fire Impact on Wildlife - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Fire Impact on Wildlife

The recent wild fires are making an impact on wildlife.  Archer County put out a warning this week about feral hogs moving into populated areas.  The hogs are moving away from the charred grass because there are no nutrients there. Officials say once the grass grows again, hogs will move back into more rural areas.

Wild hogs are a huge problem in Texas because they don't have any natural predators; they're fast, aggressive, and hard to kill. But officials say some wildlife did perish in the flames.  River Bend Nature Center Administrative Assistant Jennica Howes says, "Of course, with prairie fires sometimes you do get casualties that don't escape in time. But actually, it's a good thing because what happens is, it regenerates their food source".

Wildlife experts say fires actually benefit wild life.  A prairie fire is essential to a prairie ecosystem; without it, it doesn't exist.  The fires get rid of old vegetation and reseed the soil with genesis and essential nutrients.  Seeds are blowing in the wind all the time, and the charred grass will turn into newly blossomed grass in no time.  These animals will return to their habitat.

Howes says, "A wild fire is essential for a healthy prairie ecosystem. All the plants and animals and stuff on the prairie are adapted for wildfire and drought. So they're the ones that are going to survive.  It's the invasive species that don't belong there that are going to die. So it's essential for it to be healthy".

Officials say it's like trees, leaves fall off in the winter and blossom in the spring.  They are warning residents to keep an eye out for possible dangerous animals.  However, officials say it will not be a long-term problem.  They say mice, owels, bison, and coyotes also run away from charred grass.

Jessica Abuchaibe, Newschannel 6

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