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N.C. Forest Service

Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area will be closed Thursday and early Friday morning, April 8-9 for a controlled burn.

The N.C. Forest Service will assist the N.C. State Parks with the burn, which will take place around Brown Elfin Knob and will include approximately 12 acres. It will be a low-intensity burn, and the community should expect to see white, wispy smoke that will be noticeable from a distance.

Periodic burns help reduce buildup of leaves and underbrush that could serve as fuel for fires. In addition to reducing fire hazards, the controlled burn is expected to help promote healthy growth of the forest by removing invasive plants and providing a prepared bed for easier seed germination. Controlled burns also boost foraging for wildlife by opening the forest floor, exposing insects and small rodents and encouraging growth of new plants.

The burn is planned for this time of year as moisture still remains in the lower levels of leaf buildup.

For additional information on the burn, contact Orange and Durham County Ranger Justin Bennett with the N.C. Forest Service at 919-636-1558 or

For additional information on Occoneechee Mountain, contact Eno River State Park at 919-383-1686 or see the park’s webpage.