The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia
Monday, 06 November 2023 12:05

Obed WSR announces restrictions on backcountry fires Featured

download.jpgObed Wild & Scenic River paddler.  NPS

WARTBURG — Obed Wild & Scenic River officials announced a temporary ban on campfires in the park’s backcountry effective immediately. Due to abnormally dry weather conditions and the amount of fresh leaf litter on the ground, the potential for escaped fires to occur in the backcountry has greatly increased. The fire restriction will be in effect until further notice.

The fire ban does not affect campers at Rock Creek Campground or picnickers using fire grills at picnic areas. Fires at developed areas must be confined to designated fire rings and grills. All visitors are asked to take certain precautions to help reduce the risk of wildfires. This includesextinguishing front country fires by mixing water with embers in fire rings and grills. Use of backpacking stoves is still permitted at backcountry campsites.

“With the current drought conditions, it is imperative that we mitigate the risk of human-caused wildfires during this period of high fire danger,” said Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas.

“The park has not banned backcountry campfires since November 2016, but these unusually dry conditions warrant the restriction.”

More information about backcountry trip planning, please visit the park visitor center or call 423-346-6294.