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Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-475-9034
Superintendent Barclay Trimble announced today that sometime after mid-December 2013, U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) fire management staff, working under an agreement with the National Park Service (NPS), as part of the Outer Banks Group Fire Management Plan, will re-establish a fire break along the NPS boundary between parklands and the town of Nags Head.
The fire break will extend where the NPS boundary crosses Highway 12 at Whalebone eastward to the Dominion Power electrical corridor and then south to where the electrical corridor meets the Old Oregon Inlet Road (NC Route 1243).The fire break will be created with the use of two types of lightweight, tracked vehicles.One called a Marsh Master, with an attached mowing deck, will be used in grassy areas of the break.The other, called a Geo-boy, uses a mower head which shreds brush and woody vegetation.Both pieces of equipment are designed for use in marshy environments like those found on Bodie Island.The break may not be completely cleared of vegetation as all woody vegetation with a diameter greater than six inches will be left in place and multiple passes will be needed to create a unified appearance.
Fire breaks aid fire suppression efforts by allowing firefighters to move around the periphery of a blaze, while providing defensible space to help fight a potential fire threatening structures.Fire breaks help contain fires by denying "fuel" such as brush, grasses, and small trees, and reduce how fast fire moves thereby reducing the probability of fires moving from NPS lands onto private property.As a result, this fire break will reduce the threat of wildland fire to private homes along the Bodie Island boundary of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Communities can also help reduce the wildland fire threat by implementing the National Fire Protection Association's Firewise Communities Program, which focuses on actions that residents can do on their property and around their buildings to reduce potential loss of life and property to wildfire.Trees, shrubs, and other vegetation surrounding a building contribute greatly as to how well a building survives a wildfire.More information about risk assessment and a checklist to help prepare properties can be found at www.fireadapted.org
A public informational open house regarding this project will be held on December 11, 2013 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Nags Head Fire Station 16, at 5314 S. Croatan Highway, across from Nags Head Town Hall.