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Pisgah plans prescribed burns

The Pisgah National Forest plans to conduct prescribed burns in multiple areas of the forest this week.

  •  A 200-acre burn at Sam Knob in the Pisgah Ranger District aims to maintain and improve the open area of the balds and to improve wildlife habitat. Some temporary closures will be necessary to facilitate the burn. These include Black Balsam Road or FSR 816 just past the Art Loeb Trail crossing, the Black Balsam parking lot at the end of FSR 816, Flat Laurel Creek Trail No. 346, Sam Knob Trail No. 617 and Sam Knob Summit No. 617A.
  • A 3,000-acre burn at Roses Mountain in Burke County will take place on the Grandfather Ranger District.
  • A 200-acre burn at Boyd Gap in Caldwell County will take place on the Grandfather Ranger District.

The dates for the burns and the actual number of units burned will depend upon weather conditions. Burning days are changeable because the proper conditions are needed — wind and relative humidity are key factors in fire behavior, safety and smoke control. Prescribed burning will only occur when environmental conditions permit. During the burns, proper personnel and equipment will be on site and some roads and trails may be closed to ensure safety.

All prescribed burns are thoroughly planned and analyzed by a team of specialists to ensure that wildlife, fisheries, rare plants and historic sites are not harmed. Habitat for a variety of wildlife can be improved through carefully planned and executed prescribed burns. Regular burns promote the growth of plants that provide food for wildlife including important game animals such as deer and turkey.

Prescribed burning is an important and versatile forest management tool that can mimic natural fire disturbances and reduce underbrush and flammable vegetation, which is key to limiting wildfire growth.

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