Photography and Text by Brady Beck

Fire is a critical part of North Carolina’s cultural and ecological history. Much of the plant and animal life in the state requires fire at some frequency to persist and thrive. This is especially true of the longleaf pine forests in the Sandhills.

Public and private land managers use controlled burns to improve and maintain habitat for Sandhills natives such as the red-cockaded woodpecker, bobwhite quail and pine barrens treefrog. So if you see smoke in the area, most likely it is wildlife and forestry professionals keeping our forests and their wildlife residents healthy!