Controlled Burning along the Natchez Trace Parkway

TUPELO, MS: Weather depending, the Natchez Trace Parkway will conduct three prescribed fires (controlled burns) prior to April 15, 2019.

Prescribed Fire NameMilepostCounty
Witchdance West232.8 – 233.4Chickasaw, MS
Chickasaw Village262Lee, MS
Tockshish250 – 251Pontotoc, MS

The Witchdance West prescribed fire is planned for Thursday, March 28. This prescribed fire will help to restore the open woodlands that were historically present, and help reduce hazardous fuels that could burn in a wildfire. The Witchdance Picnic Area and restrooms will remain open during the burn.

The Chickasaw Village prescribed fire is planned for Friday, March 29. This prescribed fire will help to restore the native prairie and open woodlands at the site. The hiking trails at the Chickasaw Village site will be temporarily closed during the burn.

Fire personnel also hope to complete the Tockshish prescribed fire, although an exact date has not been set. The Tockshish prescribed fire will help to restore the native prairie and open woodlands that were historically present, as well as reducing hazardous fuels along the park boundary that could burn in a wildfire. The parking area and picnic tables at the Tockshish site will be closed during the burn.

Prescribed fire is a cost effective tool used to manage the forests and grasslands that encompass 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 Natchez Trace Parkway Fire Management Division, please visit

http://www.nps.gov/natr/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.

www.nps.gov