WINNABOW, N.C. (WECT) - Orton’s annual prescribed burns will take place between March 1 and May 1 on more than 6,000 acres.
The controlled burns are conducted in coordination with the North Carolina Forest Service, the North Carolina Department of Air Quality, the Brunswick and New Hanover County fire departments and 911 services.
The burns will be overseen by Orton Property Manager Dillon Epp, a state-certified controlled burner.
“With its interconnected longleaf pine forests and wetlands, Southeastern North Carolina is recognized as one of the most ecologically diverse locations on earth,” said Epp. “Guided by Mr. Bacon’s conservation ethic, we are proud that our annual prescribed fire regimen at Orton, together with the work of our partners, is playing a significant role in a larger, range-wide public-private effort to build resilience in this special habitat.”
Although the projected burning window is two months long, the actual number of days prescribed fire will be applied is around 14 days.
Residents may see or smell smoke in the area, including those in Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach, and Wilmington, as well as drivers on Highway 133.
“Prescribed fire not only benefits the longleaf pine ecosystem by controlling invasive species and encouraging new plant growth, but also mitigates the possibility of wildfire by reducing dangerous fuel loads that accumulate over the course of the year,” Orton said in a news release.