(Blowing Rock, NC) – National Park Service officials plan to conduct three small prescribed fires along sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Grandfather Mountain corridor, Milepost 302 to Milepost 306, on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. The planned burns, each less than 1 acre in size, are intended to encourage the growth of sensitive plant populations in the Grandfather Mountain area. These plants are part of a fire-dependent community where fire has historically played a role in the creation and sustainability of this ecosystem.
Rough Ridge and Beacon Heights Access Trails will be closed to all uses for the safety of visitors and staff during the burn, this includes access to the popular boardwalk area at Rough Ridge. The Mountains to Sea Trail near Beacon Heights will remain open, but there will be no access to the rock outcrops in the area during the burn. The public is encouraged to plan for alternate hiking locations Tuesday to allow fire fighters to complete their work as safely as possible. Hiking information is available on the Parkway’s website at https://go.nps.gov/blritrails .