Prescribed Fires to Begin in Big South Fork NRRA
Contact: Steven Seven, 423.569.9778
During the next 6 - 8 weeks, National Park Service fire crews will be conducting a series of prescribed fires within Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. The prescribed fires, as defined in the approved Fire Management Plan, will all be located within the boundaries of the park. Plans call for burns varying in size from 40 to almost140 acres to occur at locations in both Kentucky and Tennessee.
The Monroe Fields Project (KY), the Burke Field Project (TN), and the Mitchell Fields (TN) are all cultural landscapes which are being maintained through the use of prescribed fire. In addition these fires will serve to reduce hazardous fuels and help to promote species diversity for the park flora and fauna.
Ignitions are scheduled to occur in March and April. Only when the weather and conditions meet the defined prescription, will the fires will be ignited. Ignitions will not occur everyday.
In addition to meeting specific conditions, crews of 20 – 25 firefighters and several engines will be on hand for each burn. Any park neighbor who may be impacted will be contacted prior to ignition.
During the burns some park roads and trails may be closed temporarily for visitor safety. Please contact the parks visitor centers at either 423-286-7275 or 606-376-5073 or the latest information on the current status of any burn or associated closure.
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.