See smoke above the Croatan? Burns are scheduled for Sunday


Craven County - The U.S. Forest Service is planning to conduct two prescribed burns on the Croatan National Forest Sunday, weather permitting. The first burn will cover 345 acres on North Flybus Road in the Cherry Branch area, seven miles southeast of the District Office. The second burn will cover 555 acres on Rice Ground Branch Road in the Highway 58 area, 15 miles southwest of the District Office. No roads or trails will be closed during these burns, but the public should be aware of the potential for smoke in both areas along with firefighter traffic. Consideration for firefighter and public safety is the highest priority. The goal of the burns is to reduce the amount of fuel on the forest floor to prevent future catastrophic wildfires. The burns will also improve habitat for fire adapted species such as the endangered Red Cockaded Woodpecker and will help restore the longleaf pine ecosystem. A helicopter will be assisting with the burn operations.