ONEIDA, Tenn. — Hunters, hikers and campers should be aware that open-air burning, including campfires, have been temporarily banned in Scott County.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced on Monday, Nov. 14, that all open-air fires have been banned in Scott County and 50 other counties in Middle Tennessee and East Tennessee. The reason for the temporary ban is a severe drought that has resulted in numerous wildfires across the eastern half of the state. As of Wednesday, Nov. 16, there were 67 active wildfires in Tennessee, encompassing more than 16,000 acres. However, there were no active wildfires in Scott County and all tourist locations were said to be safe.
The ban on campfires in Scott County applies to all public and private properties — including the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area and the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.
The campfire ban will not be lifted until at least December 15. Separately, there is an indefinite ban on campfires in the Big South Fork NRRA due to the ongoing drought.
The burn ban does not apply to grills and similar enclosed devices, although citizens are encouraged to exercise extreme caution when disposing of grill ashes.
For more information about the latest drought conditions and the campfire ban, contact the Scott County Visitor Center at (423) 663-6900.