Breaking News
More () »

Controlled burn in Cherokee National Forest until June 1 making the Smokies extra-smokey

Lots of smoke settled in Gatlinburg Tuesday night, but officials say it's from a controlled burn happening in Monroe County.

If you're wondering why the Smokies are filled with smoke tonight, a 744-acre controlled burn is taking place in Monroe County in the Cherokee National Forest.

Winds carried a large amount of smoke through the Great Smoky Mountains Tuesday, causing some concern when they settled in Gatlinburg. However, Sevier County Dispatch said the smoke is being carried that way from a controlled burn dozens of miles away in the Cherokee National Forest around Blue Mountain.

The smoke caught a lot of people off guard, and it doesn't appear the controlled burn was well-announced to the public ahead of time.

The U.S. Forest Service scanned a document with details about the burn on May 23 to its archive, however the release itself was not readily found on the Cherokee National Forest notices website or social media.

According to the release, the burn will occur from May 28 to June 1 in Monroe County approximately six miles from the Indian Boundary Campground and 1 mile north of the Jake Best Campground.

Burn units have been assigned to areas around the controlled burn. Officials say they are conducting them to promote new growth in the forest and reduce encroaching woody stems from undesired species like red maples and black locusts.

Before You Leave, Check This Out