Due to the extremely dry conditions currently being experienced, Big South Fork officials have determined that it is necessary to prohibit the use of all open fires and activities, which unduly increase the fire danger. The term “open fires” refers to any flame source not immediately extinguishable or controllable and applies to any form of wood or charcoal-based fire.
Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas announced the ban today, in an effort to lessen the dangers of wild fires in the park.
Backcountry: No building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or cooking fire within the backcountry. Within the backcountry, portable stoves that use pressurized gas, liquid fuel, propane, or alcohol are permitted.
Designated Campgrounds: Campfires and cooking fires may still be used in campgrounds and residential areas in developed portions of the park. Designated campgrounds include:
•Bandy Creek Campground
•Station Camp Horse Camp
•Blue Heron Campground
•Alum Ford Campground
•Bear Creek Horse Campground
•Charit Creek Lodge
Within those exempted areas, fires will be permitted only within established and actively monitored fire rings.
Superintendent Nicholas further noted that the ban would be lifted only after sufficient rainfall has been received and soil moisture increased significantly.
Tips for those attending a campfire in an established area include:
•Stir the coals to wet all the embers.
•Keep a shovel and water close at hand.
•Feel to ensure that the coals are dead out.
•To extinguish your fire, drown the fire with about 5 gallons of water.
TetonHikingTrails.com The Smoky Mountain Hiker is the author of the Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog and the online trail guide, HikingintheSmokys.com