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.

Co-Op Agreement a Win-Win Fuels Management Strategy

Kings Mountain National Military Park, South Carolina

Kings Mountain National Military Park and Clemson University have created a partnership for fuels management through a Cooperative Agreement that is reaping dividends for students and parks within the Southeast Region of the National Park Service. Under the agreement, interns receive hands-on experience in fire and fuels management while working with knowledgeable and experienced fire practitioners. The interns receive Firefighter Type 2 and Faller A NWCG accredited training. The park also provides housing and transportation between the various park units in the region where the interns perform preparation work for prescribed burns, mechanical fuels reduction, and prescribed burns.

The interns have provided staffing to prepare and complete fuels reduction projects on approximately 2,900 acres within the Southeast Region during FY-06. From January through August 2006, the interns traveled to five states and performed fuels management activities at Cowpens National Battlefield, Congaree National Park, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Kings Mountain National Military Park, and Russell Cave National Monument.

Wildland fire assignments included a wildland fire use incident at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, an engine detail to Florida for initial attack, details to Colorado and Nevada as part of an initial attack crew, and a wildland fire off the coast of Georgia on Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Intern Noel Durant explained, "Work on the fire line might seem dangerous, but the excitement that goes along with the work and the challenge of completing such a difficult task is what keeps me interested. I am always looking for new experiences and so far I have found that fire perpetually keeps me wanting for more."

Pete Jerkins, Acting Module Leader of the Cumberland Gap Fire Use Module said, "The Cumberland Gap Fire Use Module enjoyed the privilege of working with the Clemson student interns from Kings Mountain National Military Park for the past two years. They were eager and willing to learn and take on the role of wildland firefighter in a variety of operational roles. They became an integral part of the southeast burn team and participated in many burns throughout the region. It is likely that without their participation, less success would have been achieved."

Contact: Chris Revels, Chief Ranger/FMO
Phone: (864) 936-7921