Prescribed Fires to Occur in Big South Fork
Contact: Tom Barnes, 423.569.2404 ext 284
Big South Fork is planning to ignite two prescribed fires the week of March 16, depending upon weather conditions. The Gobblers Knob A&C Project is located east of Divide Road near the Tennessee/Kentucky state line and will consist of approximately 2485 acres, roughly half in Kentucky and half in Tennessee. The Gobblers Knob B Project is located east of Divide Road and north of Terry Cemetery Road. This project is approximately 3334 acres and is located entirely in Tennessee. Each burn is scheduled to begin late morning with the burn being completed by nightfall.
These prescribed fires will serve to reduce hazardous fuels near Pickett State Forest and the Daniel Boone National Forest and help to promote species diversity for the park flora and fauna. After the burns take place these areas will have enhanced wildlife habitat and should be an excellent location for spring turkey hunting.
During a prescribed burn all roads and trails in the burn area will be temporarily closed for visitor safety. During this week’s burn this will include Stooping Oak Road and all hiking and horse trails in the area. There will likely be traffic control points on Terry Cemetery Road and Divide Road. Once the burn is complete these roads and trails will be reopened.
These prescribed fires, as defined in the approved Fire Management Plan, are located within the boundaries of the park. The fires will be ignited only when the weather and conditions meet the defined prescription.
In addition to meeting specific conditions, crews of 35-40 firefighters, 3-4 fire engines and a helicopter will be on hand for each burn.
Did You Know?
Longhunters were some of the first Europeans to traverse the Big South Fork region. It is said they were called longhunters either for the long rifles they carried or because the were typically gone on hunting trips for so long, sometimes up to a year.