GATLINBURG (WATE) – A parkwide ban on campfires and the use of fire grills is now in place at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The park along with agencies across the region have created the ban due to wildfires and dry conditions.
All campfires and grills are prohibited in the park, including frontcountry and backcountry campsites and picnic areas. Use of wood or charcoal fires is not allowed. Park visitors must extinguish cigarettes, cigars and pipes, and dispose of them in proper containers. Campers may use gas camp stoves in designated areas.
“We are taking these extra precautions to help reduce the threat of wildfires and provide for visitor safety throughout the park,” said Chief Ranger Steve Kloster. “We ask that everyone respect this ban and report any signs of fire throughout the park.”
The park is advising backpackers to be aware the weather conditions affect the availability of water at springs at backcountry campsites and shelters. It may take more than five minutes to fill a quart-sized bottle. Park visitors are asked to bring extra water and have an itinerary.
These areas are without water: 5, 6, 14, 16, 19, 26, 113, Mollies Ridge Shelter, Russell Field Shelter, Spence Field Shelter, Silers Bald Shelter, Double Spring Gap Shelter, and Pecks Corner Shelter.