National Park Service workers in the Smokies are planning a series of controlled burns in Cades Cove this week.
Fires will be set to keep open fields and meadows that would otherwise be reclaimed by the forest.
Great Smoky Mountains officials says fires are planned Tuesday through Friday, weather conditions permitting.
The park contracts to have roughly 950 acres near Cades Cove Loop Road mowed twice a year. Another 1,500 acres of open land, less visible from the road, is burned or mowed on a three-year rotation.
Park Fire Management Officer Mark Taylor says tourists will notice smoke in the valley, but it shouldn't detract from their visit. The loop road will remain open.
** You should also note that the Cades Cove Loop Road is tentatively scheduled to be closed for two days during the week of November 29 for hemlock woolly adelgid control. Spray operations are weather dependent, so actual closure dates will not be determined until a few days prior to spraying. Closure dates will be posted once they are available.
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