Controlled burn underway near Dare bombing range

Smoke from a controlled burn at the Dare County bombing range could be seen from Jockey's Ridge on Friday. [Kari Pugh photo]

A controlled burn is underway today near the Dare County bombing range, the N.C. Forestry Department says. Smoke from that burn is visible around the area.

It’s prescribed burn season across North Carolina, where fires are purposely set on game lands to help restore and maintain wildlife habitat and decrease fuel loads.

“Burning encourages production of native grasses and herbaceous vegetation, which provides valuable food and cover for a wide variety of wildlife species. Prescribed burns are also used to help reduce high levels of forest fuels (such as leaf litter and pine straw) that can lead to catastrophic wildfires and to control disease and insects,” the N.C. Wildlife Commission says on its website.

Many of North Carolina’s declining or rare wildlife species, such as the red-cockaded woodpecker, are adapted to fire or found only in fire-dependent habitat.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at