Fire in the Pines is an educational festival dedicated to raising positive awareness about controlled burning in the longleaf pine ecosystem.

Without controlled burning the longleaf pines in the southeast United States would disappear. So, too, would the red-cockaded woodpeckers, venus flytraps and a host of other carnivorous and rare plants that need fire to thrive and survive. The importance of controlled burning is cause for an educational festival to spread awareness!
Fire once occurred naturally and regularly across North Carolina and the Southeast. Low-intensity fires burned every few years fueled by grass, leaves, pine straw, and other forest debris. They kept the forest open, allowing sunlight to penetrate to its floor and reducing buildup of dangerous fuel loads. Fire suppression altered the landscape, allowing fuels to accumulate and putting people and communities in jeopardy. Without fire, many native plants and animals would disappear and the safety of southeastern plant and wildlife communities would be at risk.

Join us Oct 8th for our annual Fire in the Pines 2022 Festival!

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check out Flytrap Frolic on June 4th at The Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden !Did you know? It takes about one week for a Venus flytrap to digest its food! Learn more about Venus flytraps and other carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews at this year's Flytrap Frolic on June 4th! We're hosting guided tours and having fun games at the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden in Wilmington. Space is Limited - RSVP is free but Required!! Choose your time here:📸Tom Astle #flytrapfrolic #venusflytrap #stanleyrehdergarden #carnivorousplants #carnivorousplantgarden #ilmevents #wilmingtonnc ... See MoreSee Less
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Virtual Events

iNaturalist Scavenger Hunt

Oct 2-9

Step 1: Download the FREE iNaturalist app and sign up for the Fire in the Pines Scavenger Hunt 2021 under projects.

Step 2: Get outside and visit local parks, public areas, or your own backyard to discover native plants and animals.

Step 3: Share your observations through iNaturalist for a chance to win prizes!

Photo Contest

Oct 2-10

Do you love exploring nature? Take pictures while you’re out adventuring.  Pictures can be of wildlife, plants, landscapes, or people out in nature and submit them to win custom Venus Flytrap Mugs!

Video Series

Check out our Mini Series with conservation professionals exploring what makes the longleaf pine ecosystem so special. Learn about:

  • Controlled Burns
  • Reptiles and Amphibians
  • Fire Equipment
  • Mammals in Longleaf
  • Carnivorous Plants
  • The Longleaf Ecosystem

In-Person Events

On Saturday and Sunday Oct 9 and 10 from 10am to 2pm come visit any of the following parks to check out some fun activities for the whole family. All activities will be outdoors and encourage social distancing so we can all stay safe.

Halyburton Park

This park features a paved 1.3 mi walking trail that takes visitors through the sandhill ecosystem characterized by sandy soils and a canopy of fire adapted longleaf pines and turkey oaks. There is also restroom facilities, a playground, and picnic tables.

Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden

This hidden gem of a park takes visitors on a short paved trail through a carnivorous plant garden containing all kinds of pitcher plants, sundews, and the amazing Venus flytrap.

Carolina Beach State Park

This state park offers miles of hiking trails that feature fire adapted longleaf pine ecosystems, salt marshes, and sand dunes right on the edge of the Cape Fear River. The park offers restroom facilities, picnic areas, a visitors center and even a marina.

Self Guided Tours

Head out and take a “guided” hike through a fire dependent ecosystem. Trails will have interpretive signs along the path, simply scan the QR code with your phone and watch the short video to learn more about the exact spot you are standing in! Each tour will be guided by local experts showcasing some of the unique things you will see along your walk. Enjoy your private tour at any of the above parks.

Tools of the Trade

There will be a wildland fire truck at each of the above parks with opportunities to spray water and check out all the cool gear that we use to light and put out fires!

Activity Grab Bags

Stop by and pick up a grab bag filled with fun activities for the whole family. Each park will also feature an educational table focused on a different topic related to the longleaf pine ecosystem and controlled burning.