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Prescribed burns planned at Lake James State Park

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Pat McCrory, Governor
Susan Kluttz, Secretary
Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Prescribed burns planned at Lake James State Park

Raleigh -- The N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation and the N.C. Forest Service plan to conduct multiple prescribed burns at Lake James State Park from mid-December through April. According to Park Superintendent Nora Coffey, the specific dates of the burns will depend on local weather conditions.

The prescribed burns will be conducted on sections totaling approximately 1,000 acres at the park’s Catawba River Area and the Paddy’s Creek Area, including on Long Arm Peninsula. Some visitor areas and trails may be temporarily closed during the prescribed burns, and aerial ignition may be used in some instances.

A public discussion about the use of prescribed fire at Lake James State Park will be held Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Catawba River Area office.

Prescribed burns are used as a resource management tool in many locations by the state parks system. Some plant communities and animal species rely on periodic fire for their existence. The prescribed burns also reduce the amount of potential wildfire fuel and help protect a park’s resources and neighboring landowners if lightning, arson or carelessness sparks a wildfire.

In order to minimize smoke and assure the fire is controlled, the low-intensity, 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 likely end by mid-afternoon.