Prescribed Fire at the Chapel Hill Public Library

Post Date:01/30/2018 4:17 PM
LIBRARY BURN AREA

Update: The N.C. Forest Service and the Chapel Hill Fire Department will conduct a prescribed fire at the Chapel Hill Public Library on the grassy sloped area above the library's circular drive between 5 and 7 p.m. Monday, April 2. Conditions will continue to be monitored up to and during the burn. If conditions become unfavorable for a safe burn, it will be postponed.

Previously Released: This spring, the NC Forest Service and the Chapel Hill Fire Department will conduct a prescribed fire at the Chapel Hill Public Library on the grassy sloped area above the library's circular drive.  This joint activity will help to maintain the health of the Pritchard Park ecosystem. 

Prescribed fires, also known as prescribed or controlled burns, refer to the controlled application of fire to ecosystems that depend on fire. When planned and executed by fire-management experts, prescribed fires are a safe way to apply a natural process in order to restore and maintain ecosystem health.
 
In addition to mitigating the invasive species that are rampant on the slope, this prescribed fire will also rejuvenate native grasses, improve wildlife habitat, and control insects.  As part of the Explore More at Pritchard Park initiative, it will provide numerous STEM-related educational opportunities, from the role fire plays in forest ecology to fire safety basics to air quality issues and more. 

The first of these opportunities will be offered on Feb. 8, when Johnny Randall, director of conservation at the NC Botanical Garden, and Chris Hirni, NC Forest Ranger for Orange County, will present information about the role of fire in the environment. Ranger Hirni also will share details of the Pritchard Park burn plan and site and safety preparations. Chapel Hill Fire Department and Parks & Recreation Department personnel will be on hand to answer questions.

The prescribed burn will occur sometime in February or March. Optimal weather forecasting and site conditions will determine the precise date of the burn.  The Town of Chapel Hill will share information and details, both about the burn and additional educational programs, via a variety of media outlets and social platforms.

For more information, contact Assistant Library Director Meeghan Rosen at mrosen@townofchapelhill.org or (919) 969-2046.

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