Seeing smoke in Nags Head?

A map of a controlled burn area in Nags Head Woods, Tuesday, March 12.

A controlled burn is being conducted today in a section of Nags Head Woods fronting the sound. Smoke from that burn is visible around the area.

Town officials say such burns help to control the effects of fire, its location and its intensity.

The N.C. Wildlife Commission is also conducting prescribed burns on game lands over the next few weeks.

The commission uses controlled burning, an intentional burning of vegetation, to help restore and maintain wildlife habitat on most of the 2 million acres of state game lands used by hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers.

“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 commission’s burn season typically runs January through March. Some burns, however, are conducted into spring and summer, as warm season burning provides for better control of young hardwoods in certain habitats, the commission said in a news release.

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. Commission staff typically conduct maintenance burns in multi-year cycles to open groundcover for quail, grassland birds, deer and turkeys.

About Kari Pugh 1073 Articles
Kari Pugh is digital director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at