Photo Credit: Lindsey Green/USFWS
Caption: Recently, the fire crew from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, with assistance from Cape Hatteras National Seashore fire personnel, performed a prescribed burn on the marsh area of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, south of Manns Harbor, where Highways 64 and 264 meet. Prescribed burns are performed periodically for several reasons. They help lower the risk of, and the intensity and effects of wildfires, by reducing the accumulation of flammable fuels. They can help control some plant diseases and insect issues. And they can increase plant life by restoring soil nutrients. That helps to increase the occurrence of flowering annuals and biennials. Some plant and animal life depend on periodic fires to maintain their habitat. And prescribed burns improve habitat for birds and mammals that live and forage in the marshes.