The U.S. Forest Service announced two new prescribed burns for Western North Carolina this morning.
The Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest is planning to implement prescribed burns near Lake James and Dobson Knob in McDowell County. The two burns will likely take place between now and mid April depending on the weather. The burn near Lake James is approximately 1,950 acres and will be implemented in conjunction with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The Dobson Knob burn is approximately 2,350 acres and is completely on National Forest lands. The purpose of the burns is to reduce the amount of hazardous fuels in the forest, improve wildlife habitat, and maintain fire-dependent and fire-adapted species.
In 2011, approximately 24,000 acres of prescribed burns are scheduled on the four national forests across the state. The Pisgah, Appalachian and Grandfather Ranger Districts in Western North Carolina are working towards increasing the amount of acres treated annually as budgets allow.