RALEIGH -- Hanging Rock State Park will conduct a limited prescribed burn this winter or early spring. The exact date of the burn will depend on weather conditions, according to Park Superintendent Dave Cook.
A 2.5-acre area of the park contains Schweinitz sunflower, a species federally listed as endangered and which needs regular fire cycles to survive. The park?s objectives are to remove competing Virginia pines and other shrubby vegetation shading the sunflowers and to maintain the overall natural community by stimulating the presence of soil nutrients.
Prescribed burns also limit the amount of dead wood and natural fuels on the forest floor, making it easier to fight wildfires. This helps protect neighboring landowners should lightning, arson or carelessness spark a wildfire.
Prescribed burns routinely begin in the late morning and end by late afternoon of the same day, allowing adequate time for cleanup before dark. For further information, contact the park office at (336) 593-8480.
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