Friday, October 23, 2015 | 10:10 AM
Latest update on wildfire from Wild South:
Total acreage burned as of Thursday night is 1,518. The Forest Service has issued a fire ban within the Sipsey Wilderness, in effect from 22 Oct until November 30 or until rescinded. Trail closures will remain the same through the weekend, with the only trails open being 200, 201, 202, and 203.
Forest Service managers are concerned that a high number of hikers using the only four open trails may be excessive for the natural resources and wilderness environment. According to Bankhead District Ranger, Dave Casey, "There are other recreation areas to enjoy in the Bankhead while firefighters work hard to control the Big Tree wildfire." Vistors can enjoy the Owl Creek Non-motorized Trail System that has three trail loops, (total 25 miles), providing scenic and quiet hikes or horse-back riding. Anywhere campfiers are used, extra caution is needed.
Wild South strongly recommends visitors to the Bankhead National forest forego the use of campfires until this severe drought abates.