The fires aren't arson-they are part of a controlled burn program which rangers say returns nutrients to the soil and decreases the chance of wildfires.
Around 90 acres in Jones Lake State Park will be burned. The actual days of the burns depends on weather conditions, rangers said.
Controlled burning takes the place of natural wildfires that once swept the pine forests of old trees, underbrush, and fallen limbs.
The burns cleared smaller growth and allowed the longleaf pine tree habitat to flourish, along with plants, wild game and non-game species of animals that only grow in North Carolina pine forests.
With thousands of acres of woodlands in Bladen County, forest fires-also called wild land fires, or wildfires-are a constant threat.
Combined with debris from severe storms, lightning strikes, arson and accidental fires can consume hundreds of trees in a matter of hours. Firefighters respond to dozens of small and large woodsfires in southeastern North Carolina every year.
One of Bladen's largest fires last year was an 80-acre fire near Bay Tree Lake. The fire started due to a lightning strike, and at one point threatened several homes.
While the forest fire itself was out in a few days, the flames ignited the peat-rich soil, causing the fire to burn underground.
Most wildfires occur in the spring and fall, when high winds and dry conditions are frequent.
Controlled burning, according to the N.C. Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, can reduce the risk of devastating woodsfires without destroying valuable mature trees.
While Jones Lake rangers try to prevent a serious forest fire through controlled burns, firefighters from around the county have the chance to better learn how to fight woodsfires.
Bladen Community College will sponsor a wild fire suppression course beginning Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. The training will be held at the White Lake Volunteer Fire Department.
The instructor will be Mike Hardison of the N.C. Forestry Service, a wild lands fire specialist.
The course was designed by the N.C. Division of Forest Resources to teach basic skills in safe suppression of wildland fires.
The course covers organization, fire behavior, locating and evaluating the fire, and tactics for hand crews, engines and plow units.
For more information on the class, contact Mark Council at 879-5566. For more information on the controlled burns at Jones Lake, contact Ranger II Jeff Corbett at 588-4550.