Controlled Burning along the Natchez Trace Parkway

News Releases

Weather depending, the Natchez Trace Parkway has plans to conduct three prescribed fires (controlled burns) between the dates of February 4 and February 7. The prescribed fires are located in the following areas:

Prescribed Fire Name



Mount Locust

14.6 – 16.3

Jefferson, MS

Rocky Springs North

55.0 – 55.8

Claiborne, MS

West Florida Boundary

107.9 – 108.2

Madison, MS

 There are no closures expected at the Mount Locust visitor use area. However, visitors to the site may experience smoky conditions during the burn.

The hiking trail at Rocky Springs Campground will be closed north of Little Sand Creek on the day of the burn. The trails south of Little Sand Creek will remain open.

The hiking trail at West Florida Boundary will be closed on the day of the burn.

Prescribed fire is a useful and cost effective tool for managing the forests and grasslands that encompass the Parkway.  The benefits of using prescribed fire include reducing the buildup of dead woody material, decreasing the risk of catastrophic wildfire, perpetuating fire dependent vegetation, reducing exotic vegetation, providing habitat and forage for animals, and restoring 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.

The Parkway has been utilizing prescribed fire since 1992.  Direction to utilize prescribed fire to achieve goals and objectives comes from the Parkway’s Resource Management and Fire Management Plan.  The Federal Wildland Fire Policy of 2001 recommends that federal land management agencies within fire dependent communities continue to reintroduce and maintain fire as part of the ecosystem.

For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway Fire Management Division, please visit: