The U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct one of two prescribed burns in the Grandfather Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, on Wednesday, March 18. Based on weather conditions and resource availability the agency plans to burn either 560 acres in Avery County or 1,240 acres in Caldwell and Avery Counties. The smaller Rock House Creek Burn is northof Roseboro in Avery County. The larger Wilson Ridge Burn is north of Edgemont in Caldwell and Avery Counties.
The Forest Service is conducting the burns as part of the Grandfather Restoration Project, a 10-year project designed to restore 40,000 acres of the Grandfather Ranger District. The project is restoring fire-adapted ecosystems by enhancing conditions for a variety of native plants and wildlife, controlling non-native species and protecting hemlocks against hemlock woolly adelgids.
If the Wilson Ridge Burn is implemented, the Wilson Creek Trail (#258) and White Rock Trail (#264) will be closed during operations.
The safety of the public and firefighters is the highest priority during a prescribed burn. The public is asked to heed signs posted at trailheads and roads and to stay away from burn areas and closed roads and trails. A helicopter will assist in conducting the prescribed burns.
Click here to learn more about restoring fire to the mountains.