RALEIGH -- The N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation will conduct a prescribed burn in the Linwood Access area of Crowders Mountain State Park in Gaston County, according to Park Superintendent Larry Hyde.
The burn will be conducted on a date yet to be chosen in February or March, and some areas of the park will be closed to the public during the event. When park staff members determine when the fire is to begin, an alert will be posted on the Crowders Mountain State Park page of the division?s website, www.ncparks.gov.
Prescribed burns are used as a resource management tool by the state parks system. Some plant communities and animal species rely on periodic fire for their existence. For thousands of years, lightning ignited the fires necessary to maintain the habitats of these species. But in the last century, fire suppression, road construction and development have disrupted the natural fire cycles.
The prescribed burn will also reduce the amount of potential wildfire fuel in an area on Crowders Mountain with high potential for lightning strikes and wildfires. The prescribed burn will help protect the park?s resources and neighboring landowners if lightning, arson or carelessness spark a wildfire.
The low-intensity, prescribed burn will be conducted in cooperation with the N.C. Forest Service. In order to minimize smoke and assure the fire is controlled, the prescribed burn will only be carried out under strictly defined weather conditions of a fire management plan.
On the selected day, the burn will begin in the late morning and will end by late afternoon. Follow-up operations could last for several days. Until the park staff determines the area is safe for visitors, all areas on or around the Crowders Mountain summit will be closed to the public, including the Linwood Access parking area and trailhead, Tower Trail, Crowders Trail (Linwood section only), Backside Trail and Rock Top Trail.
For further information, call the park office at (704) 853-5375.
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