CLEVELAND (WATE)– U.S. Forest Service officials at the Cherokee National Forest were prompted to implement special fire restrictions due to extremely dry conditions, high fire danger and little chance of rain in the immediate forecast.
Effective October 29, 2016 the following fire restrictions are in place for the entire Cherokee National Forest (approximately 655,000 acres) until terminated by the U.S. Forest Service:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or charcoal fire outside of developed recreation areas. The use of portable lanterns, stoves or heating equipment that utilize gas or pressurized liquid fuel is allowed.
- Fires at developed recreation areas must be confined to receptacles designed for fire. Metal fire rings and grills are provided in Cherokee National Forest developed recreation areas. Campfires should always be put out and cold to the touch before left for any period of time.
Cherokee National Forest Fire Management Officer, Marty Bentley explained, “This simply means that the only places National Forest visitors can have a fire is in developed recreation areas where metal fire rings and grills are provided. Portable lanterns, stoves or heating equipment that utilize gas or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed. This action is necessary to protect National Forest resources and visitors. This restriction only pertains to the Cherokee National Forest. We intend to terminate this restriction as soon as we receive significant moisture and conditions warrant it.”
National Forest visitors are asked to be very careful with fire and to obey all state and federal fire related laws and regulations.