Great Smoky Mountains National Park announces temporary ban of backcountry campfires

Due to extremely dry weather conditions and fresh leaves, Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced a temporary ban on campfires in the park’s backcountry.

The fire ban applies to campers using the park’s backcountry sites and shelters. It does not affect campers at the park’s frontcountry campgrounds or people using fire grills at picnic areas.

A representative with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park said the potential for escaped fires has dramatically increased.

“With the current drought conditions, it is imperative that we reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires during this period of extreme fire danger,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “The park has not banned backcountry campfires since 2007, but these unusually dry conditions warrant the restriction.”

The ban impacts the availability of water at springs at the backcountry campsites and shelters throughout the park. Backcountry campsites 5, 6, 16, 26, 113, Mollies Ridge Shelter, Russell Field Shelter, Spence Field Shelter, Silers Bald Shelter, Double Spring Gap Shelter, and Pecks Corner Shelter are known to be without water.

Officials say the fire restriction will be in effect until further notice.

The backcountry office can be reached by calling 865-436-1297.

 

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