BURNSVILLE, N.C. – The USDA Forest Service plans to implement two prescribed burns near the areas of Max Patch and Harmon Den in Haywood County between now and early December, depending on the weather.
The Forest Service’s Appalachian Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest plans to burn a total of 950 acres on National Forest land in two separate prescribed burns. Signs will be posted to alert area residents about the Cherry Creek Burn. Both fires will help control woody debris and promote forest growth.
The Forest Service will burn approximately 500 acres in the Cherry Creek area. The boundary is Harmon Den Road to Cherry Creek Trail.
A 450-acre prescribed fire is scheduled to occur in Max Patch. The boundary line will be Max Patch Road to Buckeye Ridge Horse Trail.
NEBO, N.C. – The USDA Forest Service plans to implement a prescribed burn near Dobson Knob in Burke County between now and early December, depending on the weather.
The Forest Service’s Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest plans to burn approximately 1,250 acres on National Forest land. The boundary of the burn is Forest Service Road 106 to the north and the rest of the burn will be bordered by the Black Fork and Yellow Fork Creek. There will be a small section of handline (built with handtools similar to a trail) that will connect FSR 106 to Yellow Fork Creek. The prescribed burn will reduce the amount of hazardous fuels in the forest, improve wildlife habitat, and maintain fire-dependent and fire-adapted species. Approximately 1,200 acres were burned adjacent to this unit in April of this year.
Last fiscal year, approximately 24,000 acres of prescribed burns occurred on the four national forests across the state. The Pisgah, Appalachian and Grandfather Ranger Districts in Western North Carolina are working to increase the amount of acres treated annually as budgets allow.
Prescribed fire is a valuable wildlife and forest management tool. Many ecosystems throughout North Carolina include fire-adapted species. Numerous native plants and animals need fire in their habitats to reduce competition from invading species, and to add nutrients back into the soil.
Prescribed burns can reduce buildup of shrubs and dead wood. Burning the same tract of land on a rotation of every three to seven years reduces the buildup of vegetation (fuel), decreasing the chance of severe wildfire. Smoke from wildfires usually has a greater impact on nearby communities and carries more pollutants than smoke from prescribed burns.
For more information, contact the Appalachian Ranger District at 828-682-6146. Information about the National Forests in North Carolina is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc