A plume of smoke rises from the fire on the side of Mount Le Conte.
News Release Date: May 9, 2014 Contact: Public Affairs Office, (865) 436-1207
Great Smoky MountainsNational Park firefighters are managing a low-intensity, 10-acre wildfire,located just above Rainbow Falls along Rainbow Falls Trail.
The Rocky Spur firewas reported at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 8 by a small aircraft.Firefighters were on scene this morning and will remain in the area to monitorthe spread of the fire which lies within a natural fire zone. No resources, includingstructures at Mt. LeConte, are threatened by the fire.
The fire is slowlyspreading, with flame lengths less than 3 feet high, through a pine-oak forestincluding a fire-dependent Table Mountain Pine stand. Firefighters anticipatethat the fire will stay confined to the Rocky Spur area due to non-receptivefire fuels across the ridge along with predicted rain. The cause of the fire isunder investigation.
The park’s high elevation heath balds are treeless expanses where dense thickets of shrubs such as mountain laurel, rhododendron, and sand myrtle grow. Known as “laurel slicks” and “hells” by early settlers, heath balds were most likely created by forest fires long ago. More...