If you were traveling near the Kingsville area Thursday you may have seen an alarming sight. To many it looked like a large brush fire, but it was actually a prescribed burn.

The controlled burn was actually part of a teaching tool. The King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management hosted a lecture and lesson on prescribed burns to show participants the safe way to use fire on a ranch.

"It's a really helpful tool to learn how to use prescribed burning to manage improved forage, and improved wildlife habitat as well," said Sandra Rideout-Hanzak, an associate professor at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

About 500 acres in all were burned Thursday.