Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

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News Release

March 11, 2009

Refuge Fire Crew Completes Prescribed Burn and Assists with Off-refuge Wildfire Suppression

On Monday, March 9, staff from Pocosin Lakes , Alligator River , and Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuges and the National Park Service successfully completed the 1996-acre Roanoke Woods Prescribed Burn off US Highway 264 on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Prescribed Fire Specialist Greg Suszek said the burn began at 11:00 am and added, "the weather forecast for this area was favorable for the burn and within prescription parameters. After the burn was ignited, the weather changed -- the actual weather was drier , the wind direction changed earlier than forecast, and the wind speed was much greater than predicted." Despite the unpredictable weather conditions, the objectives of this prescribed fire were safely met. The burn unit is located north of Point Peter Road on the east side of US Highway 264. During the same time frame, some USFWS fire crews and the helicopter were diverted from the prescribed burn to assist the NC Forest Service with suppressing a wildfire on the Dare County C & D Landfill Site. The wildfire resulted from human activity on the shooting range and was not related to the refuge prescribed fire.

Huge amounts of smoke billowing from trees around US Highway 264
Photo taken looking south toward the US Highway 264 at the curve just north of Point Peter Road.
Photo credit: USFWS, Tom Crews.