Fire plays an important role in many of our state's natural ecosystems. According to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission:
Fire once occurred naturally across North Carolina. Low-intensity fires burned every few years, fueled by grass, leaves, pine straw and other forest debris. They kept the forest open, allowing sunlight to penetrate to its floor and reducing buildup of dangerous fuel loads. Fire suppression altered the landscape, allowing fuels to accumulate and putting people and communities in jeopardy.
There are many fire-dependent ecosystems across the state, from the mountains to the coast, including most oak and pine forests. Without fire, many native plants and animals will disappear due to lack of food, habitat and conditions needed for them to exist (NCWRC Press Release).
Read more about prescribed fires at the North Carolina Prescribed Fire Council website: http://ncprescribedfirecouncil.org/prescribed_fire_week.html You can also read respective press releases about the week and the importance of prescribed fires from the N.C. Forest Service, the N.C. Nature Conservancy and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
A recent prescribed burn at Goose Greek Game Land. Photo by Brent Wilson/NCWRC.
Photo from NCWRC Press Release.