NC Forestery Service Controlled Burn
Controlled Burns Across all Four National Forests in Coming Months
the next several months as weather allows, the U.S. Forest Service is conducting several controlled burns across the four
National Forests in North Carolina — Croatan, Uwharrie, Nantahala, and Pisgah.
The agency will notify the public when the decision is made to conduct controlled burns in their area. Burning days are
changeable because the proper weather conditions are needed. Controlled burning will only occur when environmental conditions
permit; wind and relative humidity are key factors in fire behavior, safety, and smoke control. A scheduled burn may be cancelled
that morning if conditions are not within the expected values.
roads may be closed the day before the controlled burn for firefighter and public safety. The public is asked to heed signs
posted at trailheads and roads and to stay away from burn areas and closed roads and trails.
The Forest Service is required to meet state air quality requirements and will conduct smoke modeling to reduce
the possible effects of smoke emissions. The proper personnel and equipment will be on site during the controlled burn.
Controlled burning is an important and versatile forest management tool
that can mimic natural fire disturbances and safely reduce hazardous fuels buildup. Reducing fuels is key to limiting wildfire
growth. During the historic fire season of last fall, some fires were quickly extinguished because of previous controlled
burning that had occurred in those areas.
Habitat for a variety of
wildlife can be improved through carefully executed controlled burns. Regular controlled burns promote the growth of herbaceous
plants that provide food, such as fruit, for wildlife including important game animals such as deer and turkey.
Controlled burning is an essential ecological tool for restoration and maintenance of
longleaf pine ecosystems in eastern North Carolina. In the Southern Appalachians, the Forest Service uses controlled burning
to promote fire-tolerant native plants and restore threatened plants and communities, such as table mountain pine and mountain
golden heather. The low- to medium-intensity burns create healthier, more diverse and more resilient forests.
All controlled burns are thoroughly planned and analyzed by a team of specialists to
ensure that wildlife, fisheries, rare plants, and historic sites are not harmed. Burned areas can be unsightly at first; however,
the forests will green up in a matter of months.
For additional information
on the significance of controlled burning:
The Role of Fire in Shaping the Structure and Function of Forest Ecosystems
in the Southern Appalachians
The History of Fire in the Southern United States
Fire in Southern Forest Landscapes
Introduction to Prescribed Fire in Southern Ecosystems
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