The Natural Resources Department routinely uses prescribed fire on county property to achieve management goals. Some burns are conducted to facilitate tree planting or reduce coverage of invasive species. Others are conducted to reduce hazardous fuel buildups, improve wildlife habitat, or provide benefit to fire-dependent ecosystems.
The burns are conducted to mimic natural disturbances as closely as possible.
Careful planning and preparation for each burn ensure that the fire is safely contained and the resulting smoke disperses. Cooperation with the county Fire Marshal and the N.C. Forest Service helps keep air quality standards high as well.
Keep an eye out for prescribed fire activity in a Nature Preserve near you. You may notice smoke, road signs, or even see staff in the midst of conducting a burn. If you look closely you may even notice evidence of past fires. This is all part of the active management strategy used to maintain and protect the natural resources of Mecklenburg County.