TUPELO, MS: Weather depending, the Natchez Trace Parkway (Parkway) will conduct a prescribed fire (controlled burn) on Tuesday, December 18 and Wednesday, December 19 at the Blackbelt Overlook (milepost 252) in Lee County, MS. This prescribed fire will help to restore the native prairie and reduce vegetation that could burn in a wildfire along the Parkway boundary. The parking area at the Blackbelt Overlook will be temporarily closed during the prescribed fire.
Prescribed fire is a cost effective tool used to manage the forests and grasslands along the Parkway. Prescribed fire reduces the buildup of dead woody material, decreases the risk of catastrophic wildfire, perpetuates fire dependent vegetation, reduces exotic vegetation, provides habitat and forage for animals, and restores the natural role of fire in a healthy ecosystem.
During prescribed fire operations, smoke warning signs will be placed along the Parkway as a precaution. Motorists should travel at a safe speed with headlights on when smoke is visible. Please be aware of park rangers, firefighting personnel, and equipment along the roadway and mow line. If visibility falls below 500 feet, the Parkway may be temporarily closed until smoke has cleared. Some smoke may be visible for several days after initial prescribed fire operations have ended.
For more information about the Parkway Fire Management Division, please visit www.nps.gov/natr/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm