Forest Service releases seasonal prescribed fire plan for the North Zone of Cherokee National Forest

Published 10:57 am Thursday, October 26, 2023

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CLEVELAND — Wildland firefighting crews with the Cherokee National Forest plan to conduct controlled burns on Forest Service property now thru the winter months in northeastern Tennessee as prescribed conditions are met.
Controlled burns are implemented in accordance with a written plan that prescribes specific weather, smoke dispersion, and other environmental conditions before crews proceed. Conditions identified in the prescription occur more frequently here during winter months.
Wildland firefighters expect to burn the following areas:
Unaka Ranger District (423-638-4109) Unicoi and Washington Counties
Big Pine (1,950 acres) – Unicoi County – South of Clarks Creek Road just east of Sampson Mtn. Wilderness, approximately 5 miles southwest of Erwin.
ATV (968) – Washington County – Lies between Buffalo Mtn. OHV trail, Briar Creek Road (NFSR 188), and Ramsey Creek Road (NFSR 4355). *Buffalo Mtn. OHV trail will be closed day of burn.
Stone (850 acres) – Unicoi County – North of Hwy. 107, along Irishman Branch Road (NFSR 313). *May be burned jointly with Irishman Branch Burn.
Irishman Branch (183 acres) – Unicoi County – North of Hwy. 107 along Irishman Branch Road (NFSR 313). *May be burned jointly with Stone burn.
Canlot (47 acres) – Unicoi County – Along Canlot Road (NFSR 189A) and North of Spivey Mountain Road (Hwy. 19W)
SoCal/NorCal (710 acres) – Unicoi County – Southwest of the Nolichucky River, along Rich Mountain Road (NFSR 190).
Watauga Ranger District (423-735-1500) Johnson, Carter, and Sullivan counties
Stone 4 (440 acres) – Carter County – Along Stone Mountain at the end of Stone Mt. Rd. Along NFSRs 53351 and 53352. Northwest of Simerly Creek Road (Hwy. 173).
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.
Harpers Creek (275 Acres) – Sullivan County – Along NFSR 4002 and just east of Wyatt Hollow Road.
Wheeler Spur (290 acres) – Sullivan County – Between Wheeler Spur Road (NFSR 6090) and Wyatt Hollow Road (NFSR 32).
Cedar Gap (404 acres) – Carter County – 2 miles southeast of Hampton, just south of Dennis Cove Road and off NFSR 293A.
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 fall.
For more information, please contact the Unaka Ranger District at (423) 638-4109 or the Watauga Ranger District at (423) 735-1500.

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