Prescribed burns scheduled by USFS for Curtis Creek area

Press release

from U. S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct a prescribed burn in the Curtis Creek area of McDowell County between now and April to reduce hazardous fuels and improve wildlife habitat. The prescribed burn could occur as early as next week, depending on the weather.

The prescribed burn will be implemented approximately six miles north of Old Fort, N.C, in the Grandfather Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest. Part of the area is a sanctuary for bears, which will benefit from the prescribed burn. The containment lines for the fire are Curtis Creek Rd, Newberry Creek Rd and trail, as well as Horse Branch and Licklog Branch creeks. The following trails will be closed during the prescribed burn: Newberry Creek Trail #210 and Snook’s Nose #211.

The safety of the firefighters and public is the number one priority. The public is asked to heed signs posted at trailheads and roads and to stay away from burn areas and closed roads and trails.

The burn will occur over a 4-5-day period. The Forest Service will conduct the prescribed burn when environmental conditions permit; wind and relative humidity are key factors in fire behavior, safety and smoke control. The Forest Service is required to meet state air quality requirements and will conduct smoke modeling to determine the optimal conditions for minimizing the effects of smoke. The proper personnel and equipment will be on site during and after implementation of the prescribed burn.

The burn will remove woody debris and enhance wildlife habitat by decreasing the amount of mountain laurel and rhododendron. This management practice will allow mast-producing plant species to grow, improving habitat for game and non-game animal species such as turkeys, resident and neo-tropical songbirds, deer and bears.

The U.S. Forest Service will conduct the burn in cooperation with the NC Forest Service, Old Fort Volunteer Fire Department and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Approximately 3,700 acres of U.S. Forest Service land will be burned. Approximately 100 acres of National Park Service land will be included in the burn. Private land is not included in the burn.

The Forest Service is conducting the burn 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.

For more information on prescribed fire, visit the U.S. Forest Service website, Information about the National Forests in North Carolina is available at

For more information, contact the Grandfather Ranger District at 828-652-2144.


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0 thoughts on “Prescribed burns scheduled by USFS for Curtis Creek area

  1. Danial Boone

    The US Forest Service’s lazy and dangerous deliberate or so called “prescribed” burns that are taking place all over Western NC overlook the damage of these attacks on the understory of our forests to ground dwelling creatures, vertebrates and invertebrates alike. Currently the US Forest is mandated to extract forest products, even if below cost and at great cost to the environment and taxpayers. The US Forest Service should change their mandate to preservation and recognize the damage they do with managing the forests for the maximized profits of the 1%.

    This uninvestigated US Forest Service propaganda puff piece fails to disclose that there are far safer methods of clearing brush from the forests than deliberate burns that frequently get out of control and

  2. Lonnie Crotts

    A website ( was established to involve citizens and develop grass roots activism to prevent the US Forest Service to burn the Linvile Gorge Wilderness. The website is intended to be informative about the USFS plan and provides an online petition that delivers the petitioners comments to the designated USFS recipient via email.

  3. Bob Underwood

    I want to thank Danial Boone for his comment and i think he is pretty much on target. Folks, i think the US Forest Service has just gone crazy . Since the year 2000 there have been four major burns within the Linville Gorge Wilderness area and only one of them was natural, caused by lightening. Now the USFS plans to reburn the whole Wilderness again.. WHY?. How much is enough? I can certainly understand the need to protect private property. After all since Wilderness area is protected by Law from loging, the trees and wildlife are valueless — a liabillty . If you subtract al the pseudo-environmental hoop-la about ‘fire dependent species’ what remains is an end-run on the public to do a preemptive burn so that the NEXT fire to come along will not have so much fuel. This becomes the only credible point in qbout 50 pages of fine print. Does it really protect? Well, if you look at the remains of the Dobson knob fire area a few years ago you see a forest of standing dry rododendrons now more flamable than ever! So the USFS has to burn the wilderness over and over again and keep on burning every few years — — forever. This is what they call ‘management’. It feeds an industry. The harsh reality is this: the US Forest Service has sold out and no longer protects the forest nor your interests. We now must fight to protect the Wilderness from them. I now see an agency that appears to have lost all touch with reality and is hell-bent on destroying its own credibility. Even if we stop them on this particular effort, something has gone so very wrong on the higher decision making levels that congressional investigation is needed. Bob Underwood

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