GSMNP plans prescribed burn in Cades Cove

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GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Appalachian Piedmont Zone fire management staff plan to conduct prescribed burns on approximately 500 acres of fields within Cades Cove.

Weather permitting, these burns will take place on Thursday, November 29 and Friday, November 30.

Managers have already completed prescribed burns across 88 acres of fields near Sparks Lane.

Over the last 20 years, park managers have conducted these burns during the spring and fall under specific prescription parameters to safely reduce fuels and restore meadow habitats.

“The selected fields will be burned to restore meadow species, prevent the open fields from being reclaimed by forest, and to reduce hazardous fuels,”
said National Park Service Burn Boss Jordan Black.

Visitors should expect to see firefighters and equipment along Sparks Lane and the western end of the Cades Cove Loop Road. The loop road and historic structures will remain open to visitor use, but brief delays and temporary closures may occur to ensure public safety during burn operations.

Park staff will be present to answer questions during operations at overlooks and parking areas.