Great Smoky Mountains National Park fire management officials will make a final attempt at a 600-acre prescribed burn in the Canadian Top project area adjacent to Cataloochee Valley in North Carolina. Weather permitting, burn operations will begin on Saturday, November 21. Crews should be able to complete the burn on Saturday, but smoke may be present in the area through Sunday. The burn unit is located on Bald Top and Jesse Ridge adjacent to the Little Cataloochee Trail between Davidson Branch and Mossy Branch.
"One of the goals of the prescribed burn is to improve elk forage and habitat," stated Great Smoky Wildland Fire Module Leader and Burn Boss, Shane Paxton. Over time, the increase in herbaceous vegetation on the forest floor will improve forage for elk which graze the nearby meadows. Roads and trails will remain open to the public though temporary closures to the Little Cataloochee Trail may occur if fire activity warrants. Visitors should expect to see smoke in the area.