Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced Thursday a temporary ban on backcountry campfires effective immediately.

Due to abnormally dry weather conditions, the potential for wildfires to occur in the backcountry has dramatically increased, the release from the park said.

The fire restriction will be in effect until further notice.

According to the park, the fire restriction only applies to campers utilizing the park’s 100 backcountry sites and shelters. 

The park asks all visitors take precautions to help reduce the risk of wildfires by extinguishing front country fires by mixing water with embers in fire rings and grills. 

It said backpackers should be aware that drought conditions also affect the availability of water at springs at backcountry campsites and shelters throughout the park.

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