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Prescribed burns planned at Lake James State Park

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Pat McCrory, Governor
John E. Skvarla, III, Secretary

Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Prescribed burns planned at Lake James State Park

RALEIGH -- The N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation will conduct multiple prescribed burns at Lake James State Park in coming weeks.

According to Park Superintendent Nora Coffey, the specific dates of the burns will depend on local weather conditions.

The prescribed burns will be conducted in conjunction with the N.C. Forest Service on approximately 281 acres at the park's LongArm Peninsula section in Burke County. The area is being developed for 30 boat-in campsites, but currently has no visitor facilities or public access points.

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. Last year, Lake James State Park successfully completed prescribed burns on more than 260 acres of the Catawba River area in McDowell County. The division's resource management team conducted burns on nearly 4,000 acres of the state parks system during the year.

In order to minimize smoke and assure the fire is controlled, the low-intensity, prescribed burns 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.