After another no-go the next week, also due to plunging humidity levels, the crew tried for a third time. This third day turned out to be a beautiful, partly cloudy day, and humidity, wind, and temperatures cooperated. The crew laid the fire hoses around the church, readied the engines, and donned protective helmets to start the burn.
Finally, after months of planning and weeks of waiting, low-intensity flames licked at the piled leaf-litter and curled around the base of fire-resistant old trees. With this burn completed, the park was dozens of acres closer to restoring a natural fire regime in Little Cataloochee.
Did You Know?
About 100 native tree species make their home in Great Smoky Mountains National Park—more than in all of northern Europe. The park also contains one of the largest blocks of old-growth temperate deciduous forest in North America. More...