689 acres in Cades Cove
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Officials with the National Park Service say a prescribed burn is scheduled for a portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park beginning this weekend.
A news release from the National Park Service says the 689-acre (279-hectare) burn is scheduled for Cades Cove between Saturday and Nov. 25. The burn is being coordinated with fire management staff of the Appalachian-Piedmont-Coastal Zone.
Over the last 20 years, park managers have conducted burns during the spring and fall to safely reduce fuels, restore meadow habitats and maintain the historic landscape of Cades Cove. The controlled burns help perpetuate native herb species that provide high quality cover and foraging opportunities for wildlife including deer, turkeys, and ground nesting birds.
Visitors should expect to see firefighters and equipment along several roads, including the western end of the Cades Cove Loop Road. The loop road and historic structures will remain open, but brief delays and temporary closures may occur to ensure public safety during burn operations.
Park officials say visitors should also expect to see fire activity and smoke during prescribed burn operations. Fire managers ask that motorists reduce speed in work zones, but refrain from stopping in roadways, and use headlights if smoke is present.
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