Officials with Pilot Mountain State Park have announced there are two prescribed burns set for the next couple of weeks.
“The two burns will be approximately 10 acres of fields we are managing for wildlife habitat off of Boyd Nelson Road and 30 acres on the mountain on a area we call ‘Sassafras Ridge,” officials said.
“Prescribed burns will take place either the week of July 18 or the week of July 25,” the park’s website stated. “Area roads will be signed ‘prescribed fire do not report’ on the day of the burn. The location of the burns will be either the 30 acre area below the summit parking lot…(or) grass fields off Boyd Nelson Road. No roads or facilities will be closed.”
“The burns will be conducted between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.,” according to information released by Park Superintendent Matt Windsor.
The burns, he said, are used to achieve specific objectives.
“One burn will be a grassland burn to reduce invasive species and manage habitat for wildlife and plant species dependent on grasslands.
“The second burn will be below the summit parking area and will be done to restore Chestnut Oak Forest. The summer burn will increase the amount of flowering plants, fruiting plants and grasses in the understory which will increase the diversity of wildlife habitat available.”
Windsor said no facilities will be closed during either burn, but if smoke obscures the main park road it will be temporarily closed during the burn, or reduced to one lane of travel.
“The specific days of the burn will be dependent on weather conditions for the day of the burn and the night following the burn.”
So far this year 430 acres have been prescribe burned at Pilot Mountain State Park, according to the park’s website.
Anyone with questions or concerns can contact Windsor at Matt.Windsor@ncparks.gov or by phone at 336-325-2355.