• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

Eventual burn

 
Fire crews preparing the Little Cataloochee burn.

Fire crews waited until ideal weather conditions at Little Cataloochee and finally burned the area on the third try.

NPS photo.

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.

 

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