The U.S. Forest Service is conducting two prescribed burns this week on the Grandfather Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, pending weather conditions. The Roses Mountain burn will cause The Mountains to Sea Trail from Table Rock Road to Steels Creek Road to be closed through Friday. Smoke may be visible in the area along Highway 181 from Morganton to Jonas Ridge.
The Singecat Ridge burn is planned for April 12 and 13. This 2200 acre burn is at Singecat Ridge, south of the Blue Ridge Parkway and east of State Highway 80, northwest of Marion. The Mountains to Sea Trail from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Betsy’s Ridge, the Bad Fork Trail, and the Armstrong Creek Trail will be closed through Sunday. Some smoke may be visible in the area around Lake Tahoma and Marion. Travelers on Highway 80 should use caution, as firefighter traffic and smoke may impact travel along the road. The objective of the burns is to restore fire-adapted vegetation as well as reduce fuels to prevent catastrophic wildfire. Singecat Ridge is home to the endangered Golden Mountain Heather, a small shrub that needs fire to survive. The burn will help to increase the population numbers of this plant, which is found in only one other location in the world.
The public is asked to heed signs posted at trailheads and to stay away from burn areas and closed trails.