Fire Stories

Fire stories from the national parks highlight events, incidents, and the like, associated with fire and fuels management, as well as fire education, technology, partnerships, and more. Stories highlight work related to Department of the Interior initiatives as well as local and regional initiatives.

Cumberland Gap and Great Smoky Mountains Fire Use Modules at Cowpens National Battlefield for the Battlefield prescribed fire. NPS photo by Sasha Ernst.

Successes in FY '06 for Fire Use Modules

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, KY/TN/VA
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN/NC

During FY06, the Cumberland Gap and Great Smoky Mountains Fire Use Modules accomplished more than 5,900 acres, including prescribed burning in the wildland-urban interface for hazard fuels reduction. The modules assisted parks in Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

As of May 22, 2006, the Great Smoky Mountains Fire Use Module had assisted with 21 prescribed fires in eight Southeast Region parks, treating 2,912 acres, and wrote and/or reviewed nine burn plans. During FY06, the Cumberland Gap Fire Use Module assisted with 22 prescribed burns in eight Southeast Region, treating 4,940 acres, and wrote and/or reviewed eight burn plans. Both modules worked diligently to seize windows of opportunity to burn, coordinate with multiple parks and various resources, and keep up with weather trends regionwide.

With the assistance of the regional fire ecologist, the modules mobilized the Firestorm Contract Crew to help with burn preparation and implementation. The modules managed Firestorm's work and stayed on task with burn implementation by enabling the resources to work simultaneously in up to three locations at a time, prepping and burning. Members from the Saguaro and Bandelier Fire Use Modules came to Great Smoky Mountains National Park on a wildland fire use assignment and were released shortly after arriving. These resources were incorporated into the mix with the Cumberland Gap and Great Smoky Mountains Fire Use Modules to help accomplish regional projects.

With vacancies in the regional office, much of the project coordination and planning fell on the modules. Both the Cumberland Gap and Great Smoky Mountain Fire Use Modules ran all season with vacancies in the lead position.

Every effort was made to offer training opportunities to crew members, coordinators, and park staff. Trainee positions included; RXB2, ICT5, FFT1, FEMO, ENGB, CRWB and RXI2. At least twelve ICS position task books were completed on projects within the Southeast Region this season.

No serious injuries occurred on the Cumberland Gap or Great Smoky Mountain Fire Use Modules this season and there were no reported injuries from Firestorm Contract Crew, or the Bandelier or Saguaro Fire Use Modules.

Contact: Pete Jerkins, Acting Cumberland Gap Fire Use Module Leader
Phone: (276) 861-3418