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Fire Crews Prepare for Prescribed Fire Season

During the spring months of 2021, fire crews will conduct a series of prescribed fires within Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Prescribed fire, as defined in the approved Fire Management Plan, will be located within the boundaries of the park.

Locations to be burned are as follows:
• Approximately 800 acres along Darrow Ridge Road is scheduled to be burned, on the west side to Proctor Ridge Horse Trail on the east side down to the creek.
• There are approximately 858 acres to be burned along Divide Road, from Fork Ridge to Terry Cemetery Road and along the wagon trail.
• In Kentucky, there are approximately 120 acres along the Bear Creek Road (Newtie King area) that will be burned.
As priority, fire crews are now working on prepping these units to burn safely and effectively. The expectation is and will be to initiate the prescribed fire as soon as possible. Local communities can expect minimal smoke and visibility impacts. During the burns, some park roads and trails may be closed temporarily for visitor safety.
Implementation of burn operations is dependent upon a variety of conditions. Prescribed fires are conducted within specific parameters including temperature, relative humidity, fuel moisture, and wind speed to name a few. One of the benefits of the treatment is to reduce the risk of wildland fire.
Fire is an essential, natural process, having shaped the landscape for thousands of years, releasing, and recycling nutrients tied up in vegetation, duff, and organic soil layers, improving the overall health of plants and animals. During the planning of these prescribed burn units, areas of historical, cultural, and ecological importance are protected.

Please call 423-569-9778 for the latest information on the current status of any burn or associated closure.

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