WEARS VALLEY, Tenn. (WATE) — Drivers heading to the Smokies this week need to be aware of a prescribed burn along the Wears Valley boundary.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Appalachian-Piedmont Zone fire management team are conducting the prescribed burn for 175 acres from the boundary to the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area.
A detailed release states the planned burn area is bounded by Wear Cove Gap Road, Indian Camp Branch, Little River, and the park boundary along Roundtop Trail. In preparation for the burn, NPS staff have been clearing brush and leaf litter along the park boundary and Indian Camp Branch, which will serve as fire control lines to keep the fire within its planned boundaries. Resources from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and local fire departments in Blount and Sevier counties will provide assistance throughout the burn operations.
A National Park Service (NPS) crew of wildland fire specialists will conduct the prescribed burn to reduce the amount of flammable brush along the park’s boundary with residential homes.
Depending on the weather it will take crews two days between Monday, March 8, and Thursday, March 11.
If there’s extra time, crews will also work to finish up burn operations in Cades Cove.
These prescribed burns are executed every spring and fall in order “to safely reduce fuels, restore meadow habitats and maintain the historic landscape.”