National Park Service (NPS)

NPS plans late winter prescribed burn on Bodie Island

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Photo courtesy of National Park Service

National Park Service News Release

January 27, 2015

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent David Hallac announced today that between Feb. 1 and March 30, weather and conditions permitting, National Park Service fire management staff, as part of the Outer Banks Group Fire Management Plan, will conduct prescribed burning on sections of Bodie Island within Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The planned burn(s) will consist of approximately 500 acres located east of NC Highway 12, from Whalebone Junction south to Old Oregon Inlet Road, and a 400-acre section west of Highway 12 from Whalebone Junction south to areas that were burned by the seashore in 2014.

A primary goal of the planned burning is hazardous fuel reduction which reduces the threat of damaging wildfire to the 256 houses adjacent and bordering this section of the National Seashore boundary.  In addition, the fuel reduction will facilitate restoration of vegetative communities in migratory water fowl and marsh areas to historically accurate patterns.

In order to safely accomplish the burn, firebreaks around the burn unit will require improvements that effectively reduce the amount of vegetative fuels adjacent to the fire break. All of these breaks will be constructed utilizing a combination of light weight mowers and hand tools.  Ignition will be accomplished utilizing US Fish and Wildlife Service specialty tracked equipment from the Alligator River NWR and drip torches.

The actual ignition operations will not exceed a three-day period.  Public safety is the highest priority during all wild land fire operations.  NC Hwy 12 will be closed during active fire ignition and when smoke may cause low visibility conditions for motorists.  Traffic will be re-routed via Old Oregon Inlet Road during road closures on NC Hwy 12.

For more information, call 252-473-2111, or 252-475-9034.

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Photo courtesy of National Park Service