Prescribed burns to be conducted this spring in Cherokee Nat’l Forest

Published 11:48 am Friday, March 4, 2022

Pending favorable weather and fuel conditions, firefighters with the Cherokee National Forest are expecting a window of opportunity from March through May 15 to conduct several prescribed burns. This list of burn units is dynamic, but these are the areas most likely to be burned during this period.
Prescribed fires are implemented in accordance with a written burn plan that prescribes specific weather and smoke dispersion conditions to exist before crews proceed. Crews are responsible for igniting vegetation, monitoring control and spread of fire and smoke, ensuring fire is held by control features, and monitoring fire behavior. Prescribed fire is used in the Cherokee National Forest for several reasons, including to reduce fire hazards, improve habitat, and to help manage for desirable vegetation.
Forest Service managers say that because of changing weather conditions, it is difficult to say exactly what days burns will be conducted. In many cases the decision to burn cannot be made until the day of the burn. As weather conditions allow, prescribed burning will be going on throughout the spring.
Among areas in the Watauga Ranger District of Johnson, Carter and Sullivan counties to be burned include:
• Gum Hollow (87 acres) – Carter County – South of intersection of Dry Creek Road (Hwy. 361) and Gap Creek Road (Hwy. 362) on FSR 5311.
• Cook Hollow (500 acres) – Johnson County – On the Northwest side of Watauga Lake near Sink Mountain Boat Ramp Road.
• Osborne Farm Piles (250 acres) – Johnson County – Near Osborne Farm south of Shady Valley.
• Job Corps (500 acres) – Sullivan County – Northeast of Jacobs Creek Job Corps Center off Denton Valley Road (Hwy. 32) and Pine Mountain Road (FSR 4002) east of South Holston Lake.
• Wheeler Spur (280 acres) – Sullivan County – Between Wheeler Spur Road (FSR 6090) and Wyatt Hollow Road (FSR 32).
• Lake Edge A/B (170 acres) – Sullivan County – Peninsula at the southwest side of South Holston Lake just southwest of Little Oak Campground.

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