January 28, 2015

Park Service plans burning of
vegetation on Bodie Island

The National Park Service has announced that its fire management staff, will conduct a prescribed burning on section of Bodie Island in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore between Feb. 1 and March 30, weather and conditions permitting.

The burns, which are part of the Outer Banks Group Fire Management Plan, will consist of approximately 500 acres located east of  Highway 12, from Whalebone Junction south to Old Oregon Inlet Road, and a 400-acre section west of Highway 12 from Whalebone Junction south to areas that were burned by the seashore staff in 2014.

A primary goal of the planned burning is hazardous fuel reduction, which reduces the threat of damaging wildfire to the 256 houses adjacent and bordering this section of the national seashore boundary.  In addition, the fuel reduction will facilitate restoration of vegetative communities in migratory waterfowl and marsh areas to historically accurate patterns.
In order to safely accomplish the burn, firebreaks around the burn unit will require improvements that effectively reduce the amount of vegetative fuels adjacent to the fire break. All of these breaks will be constructed utilizing a combination of lightweight mowers and hand tools.  Ignition will be accomplished utilizing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service specialty tracked equipment from the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and drip torches.

The actual ignition operations will not exceed a three-day period.  Public safety is the highest priority during all wildland fire operations.  Highway 12 will be closed during active fire ignition and when smoke may cause low visibility conditions for motorists.  Traffic will be re-routed via Old Oregon Inlet Road during road closures on Highway 12.
For more information, call 252-473-2111 or 252-475-9034.

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