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The Sea Pines Forest Preserve Announces Plan To Conduct a Prescribed Burn

The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is a 606-acre parcel designated as a natural area for wildlife habitat and an outdoor recreation for residents and visitors of Sea Pines. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew significantly altered the Forest Preserve and it took almost three years for the majority of the cleanup to be completed. The new forest structure (i.e. fewer trees and more sunlight reaching the ground) will improve the quality and diversity of the habitat, but active land management will be required to prevent the habitat from deteriorating to a lower ecological state. Accordingly, the Sea Pines Forest Preserve Foundation is utilizing land management practices to maintain, enhance and protect “Our Natural Treasure”.

After much coordination, planning and obtaining the necessary approvals from various agencies including the Town of Hilton Head Island, the local Fire Department and South Carolina Forestry Commission, the Sea Pines Forest Preserve Foundation is pleased to announce that they will soon conduct a small prescribed burn in a test area of the Forest Preserve.

Prescribed burns are a valuable forest management tool and will be an important part of Sea Pines Forest Preserve’s Ecological Land Management Plan as we look to the future. The burns mimic natural wildfires, which have historically shaped habitats in the Lowcountry, but are controlled to occur at the right place and right time. Conducting prescribed burns will help maintain a diverse forest understory and further protect the ecosystem of the Forest Preserve. Prescribed burning is used across the country and is used extensively throughout the Southeast as a vital element of proactive land management programs. Many local communities such as Palmetto Bluff, Spring Island, Moss Creek and Jekyll Island, currently use prescribe burns as an ecological tool to protect and enhance their forests.

The upcoming prescribed burn is weather dependent. The current weather forecast for next week is favorable, but it is a forecast and conditions could change. Sea Pines CSA will notify the community approximately 24 hours in advance of the test once the Sea Pines Forest Preserve advises that weather conditions remain favorable. The decision to conduct the test is not made until the day of the burn. Accordingly, we will provide an additional update once a determination has been made.


3/9/2021- Sea Pines Forest Preserve Prescribed Burn Scheduled for Wednesday, March 10, 2021, Weather Permitting.

We have been notified by the Sea Pines Forest Preserve Foundation that due to favorable weather conditions, the prescribed burn has been tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 10th beginning between 10:00 am-noon. On the day of testing, there is a possibility that parts of the community may be able to visibly see or smell smoke. The Forest Preserve will remain open, but there will be a restricted area near Fisherman’s Point. Please click here to view a map of the Forest Preserve and the areas that will be restricted during the test timeframe.

Please note this schedule is based upon the most current weather forecast and the decision to conduct the test will not be made until closer to 10:00 am tomorrow morning. We will send an update once we have been notified of the final decision.

For questions please contact David Henderson, Director of Special Projects and Operations, at wildlife@csaseapines.com


3/10/2021 11:45 am- Sea Pines Forest Preserve Prescribed Burn In Progress

Please be aware that a prescribed burn test is taking place today, March 10, 2021, in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. There is a possibility that parts of the community may be able to visibly see or smell smoke. The Forest Preserve will remain open, but there will be a restricted area near Fisherman’s Point. Please click here to view a map of the Forest Preserve and the areas that will be restricted during the test timeframe. 

As a reminder, prescribed burns mimic natural wildfires, but are controlled to occur at the right place and right time. Conducting prescribed burns will help maintain a diverse forest understory and further protect the ecosystem of the Forest Preserve. Click here to view the full announcement of the Sea Pines Forest Preserve prescribed burn.

For questions, please contact David Henderson, Director of Special Projects and Operations at wildlife@csaseapines.com


3/10/2021 4:10 pm – Sea Pines Forest Preserve Prescribed Burn Nearing Completion

The prescribed burn test that began earlier today, March 10, 2021, in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve is nearing completion. Visible flames from the prescribed burn have diminished and the restricted testing area near Fisherman’s Point has been re-opened to the public. Crews will remain onsite to monitor the area and conduct clean-up.

For questions, please contact David Henderson, Director of Special Projects and Operations at wildlife@csaseapines.com


3/12/2021 – Sea Pines Forest Preserve Prescribed Burn Safely Conducted

On Wednesday, March 10, 2021, a prescribed burn test was safely conducted in a small test area of the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. Prescribed burns are a valuable forest management tool and will be an important part of Sea Pines Forest Preserve’s Ecological Land Management Plan as we look to the future. The burns mimic natural wildfires, which have historically shaped habitats in the Lowcountry, but are controlled to occur at the right place and right time.
The Sea Pines Forest Preserve Foundation will continue to evaluate the most appropriate way to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the Forest Preserve ecosystem.
(Pictured: The burn team monitors as the prescribed burn test progresses)