- Associated Press - Friday, October 31, 2014

TOWNSEND, Tenn. (AP) - The Cades Cove area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will undergo a series of controlled burns conducted by park officials.

Controlled burns are used to reduce woody encroachment into the fields, perpetuate native herbaceous species, reduce exotic plant species, and maintain the historic, open character of the cove. These seasonal controlled burns help support native species that provide high quality cover and foraging opportunities for a diversity of wildlife including deer, turkeys, and ground nesting birds.

Weather permitting, burn operations could begin in early-November and continue intermittently through the rest of the month.

The loop road and historic structures will remain open to visitor use, but brief delays and temporary closures of side roads and trails may occur to ensure public safety during burn operations.

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Online: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/fire-regime.htm.

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