The U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct a prescribed burn in the Grandfather Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, on Wednesday, January 28th. The agency plans to burn North of Lake James Road in McDowell County approximately 850 acres of the 1950 acre unit at this time. The rest of the acreage will be burned at a later date this spring when conditions are right.
The Forest Service is conducting the burn as part of the Grandfather Restoration Project, a 10-year project designed to restore 40,000 acres of the Grandfather Ranger District. The project is restoring fire-adapted ecosystems by enhancing conditions for a variety of native plants and wildlife, controlling non-native species, and protecting hemlocks against hemlock woolly adelgids.
The Mountains to the Sea trail, from the foot bridge over the North Fork of the Catawba River to the Dobson Knob road, will be closed during the prescribed burn.
The safety of the public and firefighters is the highest priority during a prescribed burn. The public is asked to heed signs posted at trailheads and roads and to stay away from burn areas and closed roads and trails. A helicopter will assist in conducting the prescribed burn.
The NC Forest Service, NC Wildlife Resource Commission, and The Nature Conservancy are assisting in the prescribed burn.
Click here to learn more about restoring fire to the mountains.