Each year, a prescribed burn occurs at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in a supervised section of the preserve. It has been announced that this year’s prescribed burn will occur sometime between now and April.
Prescribed or controlled burns are when a specific section of an environment is selected to be ignited. During the burn, a Town of Cary firetruck will be on-site to ensure the safety of the operation.
Prescribed burns reduce fuels to help lower the risk of a widespread forest fire. Fuels are anything that can be burned, such as fallen pine needles, dead leaves, and more. A controlled fire reduces these hazards so that in the event of a wildfire, the risk of it becoming widespread is significantly reduced. While it may seem counter-productive to those not familiar with the practice, prescribed fires are a safe and common method to help keep ecosystems healthy and sustainable. Prescribed fires can also be done to help protect endangered species or remove invasive species.
Hemlock Bluffs will remain open during the operation, with certain sections blocked off to ensure the safety of visitors. The area of the prescribed burn has not yet been announced, but officials will be on-site to direct visitors away from any hazards.
The day and time of the burn are currently unknown, and the notification window may only be hours, according to the Town of Cary. Specific weather conditions are needed for the prescribed burn to be successful, so it can be difficult to predict when it will occur.
For more information, you can visit the town’s official website here.