Monday, the N.C. Forest Service set a portion of the Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary on fire. The prescribed burn was the result of nearly two years of planning by local, county and state officials to rejuvenate the urban forest and prevent any unplanned wildfires from being able to spread to nearby homes.
North Carolina is located in a fire-dependent ecosystem, meaning many of our plants and animals need periodic fires to thrive. Historically, these wildfires were caused by lightning strikes or other natural occurrences. Now, prescribed burns are carefully planned out by the N.C. Forest Service. The burns not only reduce competition between native plants, but also release seeds and add vital nutrients to the soil that benefit species.
Employees with the N.C. Forest Service, State Parks and Recreation and the Town of Cary worked together to burn about an acre of the 158-acre park. The burn was the first at the center with more planned in the future.
In the video below, nature program specialist Mark Johns explains the benefits of a prescribed burn and why it is needed at Hemlock Bluffs:
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You also can find more information about other fire control and prevention tactics used by the N.C. Forest Service on our website.