No smores this week at Carolina Beach State Park. Extremely dry conditions led to a burning ban for wood campfires. Not to worry, there's no shortage of great ice cream here on the coast... not to mention the roadside produce stands full of NC peaches and blueberries.
While we're cautious about campground fires becoming wildfires, prescribed fire is an important part of our natural resource management.
The longleaf pine savannas in particular depend on fire every few years to maintain this natural plant community. One of the park's most famous plants, the Venus flytrap, also tolerates fire well.
Prescribed fire reduces the "fuel level" in forests, protects rare species and can even reduce tick populations. Park rangers receive extensive training and only conduct prescribed burns when the weather is ideal.