Fire Stories

Fire stories from the national parks highlight events, incidents, and the like, associated with fire and fuels management, as well as fire education, technology, partnerships, and more. Stories highlight work related to Department of the Interior initiatives as well as local and regional initiatives.

North Carolina Forest Service assists in a prescribed burn of a 5-acre savanna at Moores Creek National Battlefield. NPS photo.

Prescribed Fire Used To Rehabilitate Landscape and Control Invasive Species

Moores Creek National Battlefield, North Carolina

Moores Creek National Battlefield is rehabilitating a 5-acre wet-pine savanna to bring it closer in appearance to the likely landscape at the time of the 1776 Battle of Moores Creek Bridge. The savanna is also home to several state threatened/endangered plant species including Carolina bogmint. The area was ditched for drainage in the 1930s so that vehicle traffic could reach the edge of the battlefield. The savanna was managed for turf grasses through the late 1980s, but sweetgum and blackberry were invasive.

Volunteers from the area and from Southeastern Community College assist in planting more than 25,000 bunchgrass plants to restore a degraded wet-pine savanna at Moores Creek National Battlefield. NPS photo.

Carolina bog mint is a North Carolina endangered plant that thrives in the savanna at Moores Creek National Battlefield. NPS photo.

The current project began in 1996, with the first four years spent establishing baseline data for water and plant species. Prescribed fire is being used successfully to control the invasive plants in order to establish and increase the abundance of characteristically dominant savanna bunch grasses such as wiregrass (Aristida stricta), savanna muhly (Muhlenbergia expansa), Carolina dropseed (Sporobolis pinetorum), and toothache grass (Ctenium aromaticum).

Three burns have been carried out in cooperation with the North Carolina Forest Service, with the most recent taking place on February 14, 2006. More than 25,000 bunchgrass plugs have been planted since the initial burn in November 2003. Dozens of volunteers have assisted in the replanting efforts.

Contact: Ann Childress, Superintendent
Phone: (910) 283-5591