The U.S. Forest Service has implemented a total fire ban for the Cherokee National Forest in east Tennessee due to the extremely dry conditions, very high fire danger, and little chance of rain in the immediate forecast.

The fire ban goes into effect Friday November 11, 2016 and places the following restrictions for the entire Cherokee National Forest until further notice:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, charcoal, or stove fire inside or outside developed recreation sites. 36 CFR 261.52(a)
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three (3) feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material. 36 CFR 261 52(d)
  • The use of portable lanterns, stoves or heating equipment that utilize gas or pressurized liquid fuel is allowed.
  • The updated order expands the restrictions issued on October 29, 2016, to include restrictions in developed recreation areas and smoking in Cherokee National Forest.

Cherokee National Forest Supervisor, JaSal Morris said, “The total fire ban was necessary because of current conditions and the potential for wildfires. I want to remind national forest visitors that this ban applies to all areas of the Cherokee National Forest, including developed recreation areas. Your understanding and cooperation is appreciated.”

National Forest visitors are asked to obey all state and federal fire related laws and regulations. 

Visitors are asked to report smoke or suspicious activity to local fire or law enforcement authorities.