The Nature Conservancy is planning a 9-acre controlled burn at the Oshun Mountain Sanctuary on March 5, 2018. The Asheville Fire Department and North Carolina Forest Service will assist with the burn, which will remove leaf litter and other debris that could fuel wildfires and endanger nearby homes. The fire will also improve forest health by opening the underbrush and killing invasive weedy shrubs.
Less dense underbrush will benefit wildlife, grasses and wildflowers, and encourage regeneration of oaks and pines. This low-intensity fire should not affect wildlife; animals living in the burn area will leave when they smell smoke and return to the forest shortly after the fire is completed.
The burn will be conducted mid-day and last 2 to 3 hours. Weather conditions will be selected to let the smoke rise and disperse away from homes when leaves are dry enough to burn but not too dry to control safely. If the weather isn’t cooperative on Monday, then the burn will not occur.
Neighbors and the community will be alerted on the burn day through radio announcements on the day of the burn and notification via Asheville’s non-emergency notification system.
You may see smoke
Observers may see fire trucks and smoke rising from the forest above the French Broad River north of Pearson Bridge Road and Richmond Hill Drive. This low-intensity fire will not lead to the long-term smoke problems experienced during the fires that occurred in the fall of 2016.
For more information on controlled burning in the Southern Blue Ridge, visit this link.