The N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation will conduct a prescribed burn at Pilot Mountain State Park in Surry County between mid-December and mid-January, when conditions are suitable, according to Park Superintendent Matt Windsor.
The burn will be conducted in upper elevations of the park’s mountain section. The public will not be allowed to enter this mountain section during the burn event, although the river section and corridor trail will remain open.
Prescribed burns are used as a resource management tool by the state parks system. Some plant communities and animal species rely on periodic fire for their existence. The prescribed burn will also reduce the amount of potential wildfire fuel. The prescribed burn will help protect the park’s resources and neighboring landowners if lightning, arson or carelessness sparks a wildfire.
In order to minimize smoke and assure the fire is controlled, the low-intensity, prescribed burn will only be carried out under strictly defined weather conditions of a fire management plan. On the selected day, the burn will begin in the late morning and will likely end on the same day, though smoke may be visible at high elevations in the evening.
On the day when the fire is to begin, safety signs will be posted on area roadways to alert motorists and an alert will be posted on the Pilot Mountain State Park page of the division’s website. For further information, call the park office at (336) 325-2355.