The Blue Ridge Parkway has canceled the prescribed burn planned for today at Haw Creek Valley overlook (near milepost 381). The National Weather Service forecast for today includes winds gusting to 25 miles per hour, which would have made the fire spread too quickly.
Safety is the first priority of the National Park Service fire management program. Blue Ridge Parkway staff will evaluate future weather opportunities to complete the burn.; The goals of the “Haw Creek Burn” are to use fire to reduce forest fuel accumulations and to restore a healthy and diverse ecosystem. Fire managers plan to use a series of low-intensity controlled burns over a number of years to restore the composition and open structure of the oak and pine forests that occur on upper slopes and ridges within the site. These plant communities, which need occasional fires to regenerate, are important to wildlife and overall ecosystem health, and they are in decline throughout the Southern Appalachian region. This series of burns on the Parkway will reduce the number of fire-sensitive trees and shrubs while increasing populations of oak and yellow pines, and increasing the cover and diversity of native grasses and wildflowers.
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