By DAVID BORAKS
The N.C. Forest Service will conduct a controlled burn sometime in the coming days or weeks on 62 acres of forest land at the Barger Farm, off Concord Road in Davidson. The Barger family said Thursday the burn is part of a forestry management plan on the land.
The exact date of the burn will depend on wind conditions and how soon a forestry contractor can cut a buffer around the site, N.C. Forest Service forester Eddie Reese said Thursday. Workers first will bulldoze a 10-foot fire line around the site, then begin the controlled burn, Reese said. Property owner Hugh Barger said he also expects Davidson Fire Department to be involved.Barger said people from the nearby McConnell neighborhood have been asking about the burn, after the contractor’s notice appeared in the neighborhood’s online newsletter. DavidsonNews.net also has fielded inquiries.
Brian Greene of the McConnell Homeowners Association said he posted the information after he was contacted by the HOA management company. “As part of normal procedures, the folks managing the burn … started contacting neighborhood HOAs to help minimize concern, etc.,” he said Thursday afternoon.
The burn is the next step in a cutting-and-replanting process that began last year. The Bargers cut the crop of hardwood trees on the 62 acre last year, then used a helicopter to spray defoliant to kill underbrush. The burn now will eliminate dead material from the land to prepare for replanting with more pines next February or March, Barger said.
Once the fire line is cut, the burn will happen only when the winds are right. “The wind needs to blow from the southwest, so it will not go toward McConnell or River Run,” Bargers said. “I think the impact on the neighborhoods will be minimal.”
The cutting and replanting is part of a forest management plan recommended by the N.C. Forest Service and a forestry consultant. Reese said the Bargers are following the plan closely. “They’re doing a good job,” he said.
Barger said it’s important to follow the plan. “People love trees, but they don’t understand that in order to have trees, you’ve got to manage them. The only way to prepare a tract for reseeding is to have these controlled burns,” he said.
One resident who contacted DavidsonNews.net expressed concern that the cutting and burning might be a prelude to a big development. But that’s not the case. The Bargers say they have no immediate plans to develop the property.
“We are not going to replant with condos,” said Brenda Barger, Hugh Barger’s wife.