MURPHY, N.C., March 29, 2016 -- The U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct a 1,700 acre prescribed burn in the Nantahala National Forest on Wednesday, March 30, 2016.
The agency will conduct the burn on the Cheoah District in upper Nantahala Gorge area. The burn is located on the north-west side of Highway 74 in the Nantahala Gorge, between Ledbetter Creek to the west and Mudcut Branch to the east.
The goal of the burns is to reduce the amount of fuel on the forest floor. The burns will also restore fire adapted vegetation and improve wildlife habitat. Click here to learn more about restoring fire to the mountains.
The safety of the public and firefighters is the highest priority during a prescribed burn.
A portion of the Bartram Trail (Tr 67) will be closed during burn operations. Trail closed signs will be posted on both the North and South portions of the Bartram Trail that intersects the burn unit. The public is asked to heed signs posted at trailheads and roads and to stay away from burn areas and closed roads and trails.
Public traveling on Highway 74 may see smoke. Information signs will be posted on Highway 74 at both the east and west entrances of the gorge as well on Highway 28 at Stecoah Gap and at the Almond/Highway 74 intersection. All prescribed burns follow smoke management guidelines to mitigate impacts to the public.
A helicopter will assist in burn operations.