Successful Fire Season for Park


With the traditional period for prescribed fire in western North Carolina coming to a close, it’s time to celebrate a productive season for habitat management at Lake James State Park.

During February and March, the park staff, with partners, conducted two prescribed burns; one 40-acre unit in the Paddy’s Creek Area and a 60-acre unit encompassing the Fox Den Loop trail at the Catawba River Area. The North Carolina Forest Service assisted with resources and planning for both fires.

Lake James State Park has used prescribed fire as a tool to manage habitat and reduce flammable material from the forest floor since 2014. Since then, approximately 1,000 acres within the park boundary has been burned. The two prescribed fires earlier this year represent the first successful attempts at burning units a second time.

Although the total of 100 acres is below the annual goal Lake James State Park’s prescribed burn plan, it is a welcome achievement following the almost non-existent 2017-2018 burning season when rainfall came with unprecedented frequency and volume – all but extinguishing any opportunities to put fire onto the landscape.

NewsMolly Sandfoss