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Smoke Observed Over Cooper Lake State Park

Prescribed Fire Conducted at Cooper Lake State Park during August for Habitat Enhancement

Plumes of smoke lift into the sky on a bright hot sunny day in August over Cooper Lake State Park, but all is well! The park conducted two prescribed fires to help manage and maintain a more natural ecosystem. They burned both park units, South Sulphur and Doctors Creek. Fires historically have been a vital part of a natural Texas.

Our prairies and woodlands need fire to stay healthy for the myriad of native plants and animals found in the park. Plus, fire reduces fuel loads, which in time could build to dangerous levels.

Texas State Parks have a professional Fire Team that travels across the state burning habitat in most of our 90 plus locations. The Fire Team has a wide variety of trucks and UTVs fitted for wildland fires. Most of the time, the Fire Team conducts prescribed burns but is ready at a moment’s notice to also fight wildfires to protect our state parks.

The park is open and ready for your recreational activities. You may notice burned-over areas near trails and roadways, but the black will soon turn back to green with a little rain, and the natural processes will begin anew. You might even see a little smoke lofting from stumps or logs within the burned area, but that’s ok. This smoldering will stop with good rain or after a few days.

Park entrance fees are $5 for adults; kids 12 and under are always free. Senior Texans 65 or older will only pay $3 to enter the park daily with a Bluebonnet Pass. Unlimited park entrances for you and everyone in your vehicle happens with the purchase of a Texas State Park Annual Pass for $70, which is suitable for over 12 months. Buy your pass and let your Texas adventure begin!

For more information, please visit and like our Facebook pages or give us a call (Cooper Lake State Park – South Sulphur (903)-945-5256 and Cooper Lake State Park – Doctor’s Creek (903) 395-3100).