The controlled burn was facilitated by Durham and Orange County Ranger Chris Hirni, who said it was a huge succes.
“Nobody complained about the smoke, which is a miracle in any location,” he said.
Jennifer Roach, assistant district forester with the N.C. Forest Service, said controlled burns happen when the fire is controlled by maintaining a safe flame length and burning against the wind.
“Fire makes things mad, it doesn’t kill anything — especially when it’s controlled,” Roach said.
Ed Kabay, an AP environmental science teacher at ECHHS, said the purpose for the controlled burn was to teach sustainable forest practices.
Controlled fires can do more than just create biodiversity in an ecosystem — they can prevent potentially harmful wildfires, like those that happened in western North Carolina earlier this year.
“As fuels build up, fires get out of control, but areas that are periodically burned keep that from getting out of control,” Kabay said.
Kabay said he hoped the controlled burns would increase the productivity in the undersoil and make better habitats for pollinators and other wildlife. He also said controlled burning leads to healthy ecosystems and forests because the fire burns out the undergrowth and puts nitrogen back into the soil.