Smoky Mountain campfire ban lifted.
Smoky Mountain Campfire Ban Update. As of October 22, 2019 the Great Smoky Mountains National Park backcountry campfire ban has been cancelled. Fires have been banned in the backcountry since September 26th. Drought like conditions subsided after recent rains and cool temperatures moved into the mountains in recent weeks. After considering recently lowered drought severity ratings the decision was made by management officials to lift the fire ban.
Conditions will be monitored throughout the fall season. Additional restrictions may be implemented if necessary. The U.S. drought monitor reports that the majority of the park is still suffering from moderate drought conditions. If you plan to enjoy a fire in the park please keep it confined to existing, designated fire rings and grills. The best way to ensure your fire is completely out is by using water to wet the embers until no heat can be felt. Be sure and stir the embers while pouring water on them to extinguish hidden hot spots.
Drought conditions continue to make finding drinking water sketchy in the backcountry. There is the possibility normally reliable springs are dry so plan accordingly. Many springs may run slower than normal taking five minutes or more to fill a standard quart size bottle. The following backcountry camp site springs are currently bone dry: 5, 13, 16, 26. Mollies Ridge shelter and Russell Field shelter springs are dry also. When not hiking along a major water source it is always wise to carry extra water.
Additional information on backcountry camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park may be found at BACKPACK or by calling the backcountry office at 865-436-1297.
Drought monitor stats show continued drought in GSMNP.
Source material – GSMNP