Great Smoky Mountains National Park fire management officials are planning a 155-acre prescribed burn in the Canadian Top unit adjacent to Cataloochee Valley in North Carolina.
"One of the goals of the prescribed burn project is to improve elk forage and habitat," stated Great Smoky Wildland Fire Module Leader and Burn Boss, Shane Paxton. This series of burns will reduce the number of fire-sensitive trees and shrubs while increasing regeneration of oak and yellow pines, and increase the cover and diversity of native grasses and wildflowers. Over time, this increase in vegetation on the forest floor will improve forage for elk which graze the nearby meadows.
Roads and trails will remain open to the public. Visitors should expect to see smoke in the area.
For more information on the use of prescribed burns in the Smokies, click here.
Hiking in the Smokies