Monday, April 09, 2007

West of Cades Cove Prescribed Burn in National Park will cause trail and parking area closings

The Smoke you will be seeing tomorrow in Cades Cove, Townsend, Happy Valley, Walland and Highway 129 will be from 30 firefighters who will employ both ground and aerial ignition methods to ignite and manage a burn within an established fire containment line in the Great Smoky Mountains national park.

Of course the Smokies weather conditions must be right in order for the park service to ignite and careful burn approximately 1,500 acres of forest west of the Cades Cove Loop Road in Blount County in Stony Ridge and Arbutus Ridge Tennessee.

Cooper Road Trail

Due to being crowded out by oak trees and other hardwoods as well as southern pine beetle infestations, yellow pine trees which were the predominate species in Stony Ridge and Arbutus Ridge have been steadily on the decline. By carefully burning some of these areas of the park, openings in the tree canopy will allow more sunlight encouraging pine tree growth.

Expect closures and smoke to affect the following trails and parking areas:

  • Rabbit Creek Trail
  • Abrams Falls Trail
  • Abrams Falls parking area
  • Cooper Road Trail
  • Wet Bottom Trail
  • Elijah Oliver Place Trail

While parts of some of these trails will remain open we strongly urge you to avoid them entirely until the weekend as it may take a few days to be sure that any rouge hot spots as well as any dead snags that can effect hikers on the trails have been taken car of.

No comments: