Prescribed burns totaling about 200 acres are planned now through March in Lake Norman State Park in Troutman.
The N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation and the N.C. Forest Service plan multiple prescribed burns in eastern areas of the park between Wildlife Road and Morrison Farm Road. Dates will depend on the weather, said Greg Schneider, park superintendent. The park is 32 miles north of Charlotte and has 1,934 acres.
Some visitor areas and trails will likely be temporarily closed during the burns, including the Wildlife, Fallstown and Fox Loops of the bicycle trail system, Schneider said. The park has 30.5 miles of mountain biking trails.
Prescribed burns are done throughout the state parks system. Some plant and animal species rely on periodic fire for their existence, according to North Carolina State Parks.
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The prescribed burns also reduce the amount of potential wildfire fuel and help protect a park’s resources and neighboring landowners if lightning, arson or carelessness sparks a wildfire, parks officials said.
To lessen the amount of smoke and assure the fire is controlled, the “low-intensity” prescribed burns will happen only under strictly defined weather conditions of a fire management plan, North Carolina State Parks said. Each burn will begin in the late morning and likely end by mid-afternoon.