If you see smoke coming from the Padre Island National Seashore over the next couple of days, it's probably from controlled burns.

Park Rangers announced that prescribed fire operations will begin Thursday morning and, weather permitting, could continue through Saturday. The goal is to burn away excess grass in order to reduce the threat of a fire traveling north into lands that are not part of the Padre Island National Seashore.

The burns will be limited to the north end of PINS but will occur on both sides of Park Road 22, and due to expected smoke from the burns, drivers are warned to use extra caution when driving through or near burn areas.

Drivers can also expect some temporary road closures in the area once they begin burning roadside land on both Park Road 22 and Bird Island Basin Road. Those temporary road closures could cause delays getting into and out of the area of the Bird Island Basin boat ramp, but the ramp will remain open.

Malaquite and Bird Island Basin campgrounds will be closed Thursday through Saturday, however, and visitors already staying there will be temporarily relocated elsewhere in the park during the burns.

The Malaquite Visitor Center will remain open, but Park Rangers do warn those with respiratory issues to avoid visiting Thursday through Saturday because of the smoke from the prescribed burns. Also, if you do visit PINS during the burns, do not stop along the roadway or enter areas while the burn operations are being conducted.

For more information about prescribed burns, click here.

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