Archived Outdoors

Burns planned in Cades Cove

Staff conduct a prescribed burn in the Cades Cove area. NPS photo Staff conduct a prescribed burn in the Cades Cove area. NPS photo

Prescribed burns on about 1,200 acres of fields in Cades Cove are taking place this fall. 

Over the last 20 years, managers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have conducted these burns in the spring and fall to reduce fuels, restore meadow habitats and maintain Cades Cove’s historic landscape. Staff closely monitor fire weather conditions to conduct burns when it will be safe and effective to do so. Burns boost native plant species that provide high-quality cover and foraging opportunities for a diversity of wildlife, including deer, turkeys and ground-nesting birds. 

Visitors should expect to see firefighters and equipment along Cades Cove Loop Road and Sparks Lane. The area will remain open, but brief delays and temporary closures may occur. Hyatt Lane and the road to the Primitive Baptist Church will close during prescribed burn operations. Motorists should reduce speed in work zones and refrain from stopping in roadways.

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