Little River Canyon will be conducting a prescribed burning project beginning Thursday, March 4th through Sunday, March 7th.
The two areas – the 277 acre CR861 Unit and the 365 acre Kral’s Complex Unit – will be fire-treated mostly on Friday and Saturday. Fire crews may conduct a small test burn on Thursday afternoon, and will be conducting mop-up operations in the burn areas on Sunday.
Visitors can expect occasional periods of the Little River Canyon Rim Parkway (AL Highway 176) to be blocked at AL Highway 35 and at Mushroom Rock due to engines, firefighters, and possibly smoke on the road. The remainder of The Parkways can be accessed at the south end of AL 176 in the park (at Eberhart Point) and by DeKalb County Road 255 up to Mushroom Rock.
Cherokee County Road 861 will remain open, with NPS staff at the beginning of County Road 861 (at AL Highway 35) and at the TVA powerlines advising drivers to turn on headlights and drive very slow through the burn area. Smoke will limit visibility and fire fighting personnel will be present along the road – drive slow for your safety and their safety!
The primary goal of the prescribed burn is to reduce hazardous fuel loads, restore and maintain natural landscapes, and promote and improve the health of the park ecosystem.
Our professional team of fire fighters are led by the Mississippi River Fire Zone, out of Natchez Trace Parkway, and assisted by NPS Fire Management crews from Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and other federal agencies.
Image description: Satellite image of a portion of Little River Canyon National Preserve, with the prescribed burn areas denoted by red-colored line for the Kral’s Complex Unit and a purple-colored line for the CR 861 Unit. A map key is in the bottom right corner.
Image credit: NPS / Mary Shew See Less