Park Plans Controlled Burns in Cades Cove Fields
Great Smoky Mountains National Park fire management officials are planning a series of controlled burns in Cades Cove. Weather permitting, burn operations could begin in early-November and continue intermittently through the rest of the month.
Controlled burns are used to reduce woody encroachment into the fields, perpetuate native herbaceous species, reduce exotic plant species, and maintain the historic, open character of the cove. These seasonal controlled burns help support native species that provide high quality cover and foraging opportunities for a diversity of wildlife including deer, turkeys, and ground nesting birds.
“The controlled burns provide a great opportunity for the public to witness first hand our resource management efforts and to learn about the role of fire in our National Parks,” said Fire Management Officer Dave Loveland.
The loop road and historic structures will remain open to visitor use, but brief delays and temporary closures of side roads and trails may occur to ensure public safety during burn operations. Park staff will be present to answer questions during operations at overlooks and parking areas. Visitors should park at these designated areas for information. Visitors should not stop in roadways unless directed to by park staff.
For more information on the use of prescribed burns in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit our website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/fire-regime.htm.