PELETIER — The U.S. Forest Service will conduct two prescribed burns Monday in the Croatan National Forest.
The burns include a 187-acre unit in Carteret County off Old Church Road, near Peletier, and a 477-acre unit in Jones County off Catfish Lake Road, 3 miles east of Highway 58.
According to a news release, the goal of the burn is to reduce the amount of fuel on the forest floor to prevent catastrophic wildfires. It will also improve habitat for fire-adapted species, such as the endangered red cockaded woodpecker, and will help restore the longleaf pine ecosystem.
Consideration for firefighter and public safety is the highest priority, according to the release. No roads or trails will be closed, but the public should be aware of the potential for smoke in the area along with firefighter traffic.
A helicopter will be assisting with the burn operations.