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Bladen Lakes State Forest to conduct controlled burn today

By Erin Smith

Bladen Lakes State Forest and Jones Lake State Forest will jointly perform a controlled burn of 550 acres today (Thursday, January 31, 2019).  Residents in the county and in Elizabethtown could experience periods of smoke and see large smoke plumes.

Hans Rohr, the Forest Supervisor for Bladen Lakes State Forest, said, “It should be over by early afternoon.”

He explained they are doing what is called a helicopter burn. Rohr stated that the helicopter will drop small flammable balls similar in size to a ping pong ball. These flammable balls will ignite any fuel on the ground such as shrubbery and underbrush. Rohr said the controlled burns help to keep the forests healthy and to prevent wildfires.

The N.C. Forest Service and its partners conduct controlled burns to reduce “forest fuels” such as fallen leaves, sticks and other natural debris, to help prevent destructive wildfires like the ones that have made headlines in California late last year.

To learn more about prescribed burning and forest management opportunities, contact your local N.C. Forest Service county ranger or visit ncforestservice.gov and follow the links under the “Programs and Services” tab to “Managing your forest.”

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