Park officials plan prescribed burn in Smokies

POSTED: 4:14 AM Apr 10 2013   UPDATED: 5:45 PM Apr 10 2013
GATLINBURG, Tenn. -

Officials plan to burn 178 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to reduce the risk of an uncontrolled fire.      

Weather permitting, the controlled burn takes place on Wednesday just inside the park boundary south of Wears Valley in Sevier County. The area is bounded by Wear Cove Gap Road, Indian Camp Branch, Little River Road and the park boundary.     

A National Park Service fire crew will conduct the prescribed burn. Engines from Wears Valley Fire Department and Townsend Fire Department will patrol the lines.     

The area was last burned in 2009 as a part of a multiyear plan to reduce the buildup of flammable debris.      

Roundtop Trail will be closed. Wear Cove Gap Road will remain open, but visitors should look out for fire personnel and equipment.