Earlier in the week the USDA Forest Service announced that it will conduct a 1,200-acre prescribed burn in the Bearpen Mountain area of the Pisgah Ranger District in February or March 2012.
The Forest Service will implement the prescribed burn to reduce woody debris in the forest, which will help prevent catastrophic wildfires. The prescribed burn will also improve wildlife habitat.
The prescribed burn will take two to three days to complete and will be confined to Bearpen Mountain. The southern end of the burn will be Hwy 276 at the intersection of Avery Creek Road, extending to the intersection of Coontree Loop Trail and Hwy 276. The northern portion of the burn is Coontree Gap. The burn area will be contained by Avery Creek, Hwy 276, and Coontree Loop and Bennett Gap trails.
The safety of the public and firefighters is the number one priority. The Forest Service will notify the public when the decision is made to conduct the burn. The agency will close area trails and roads the day before the prescribed burn. The public is asked to heed signs posted at trailheads and roads and to stay away from burn sites and closed roads and trails.
For further information, contact the Pisgah Ranger District at 828-877-3265.