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MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2013

CONTACT: Brian Haines, public information officer
N.C. Forest Service
919-857-4828
Bill Walker, Cape Fear Area ranger
N.C. Forest Service
910-641-1439

Media invited to planning meeting Friday
for proposed Smith Creek Park prescribed burn

WHO/WHAT: Planning meeting for a proposed prescribed burn on about 90 acres in Smith Creek Park. Members of the media are invited to attend to learn more about the proposed burn and why it will benefit the community. The meeting will include staff from the N.C. Forest Service and the New Hanover County Fire Rescue, Emergency Management, and Parks and Gardens departments.
WHEN/WHERE:

Friday, June 7, 11 a.m.
New Hanover County Fire Department
5901 Murrayville Road, Wilmington

WHY:

The burn will likely take place in three sections of the park in July when weather conditions are favorable. Prescribed fire eliminates leaves, twigs and other forest vegetation that fuel wildfires. The main purpose of this burn is to prevent or lessen the potential damage from wildfires such as the 17th Street Fire, which burned about 60 acres in March 2012.

Reducing the probability of wildfires is especially important in North Carolina, where more than 5 million homes are located in forested, wildfire-prone areas. A properly conducted prescribed fire will lessen the danger to neighborhoods surrounding the park. This practice has already been completed successfully at Halyburton Park and other local areas.

This burn also is designed to stimulate ecological growth in the burned areas. The burn will open the ground to sunlight, which will stimulate growth of many plant species that provide food and shelter for wildlife.

OTHER INFO: A community meeting is also being planned for several days before the burn to address concerns and questions from local residents. Fire managers will closely monitor weather conditions to determine the best day to burn and will notify residents about the burn and community meeting at that time.

-brh-5

NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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