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.

Holding the GR II prescribed fire.

Large-scale GR II Prescribed Fire Completed at Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
National Fire Plan, Fuels Reduction*

The National Park Service, with the assistance from U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, burned a 1,300-acre unit between October 31 and November 1, 2006. Several parks in the Pacific West Region assisted with the project. Fire staff from Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Lava Beds National Monument, Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park were all on hand to conduct ignitions and monitor this project to a successful conclusion.

Ponderosa pine cones being consumed in fire, releasing the seeds for future seedlings.

The GR II prescribed fire burned actively at night.

Before this past century of fire suppression, natural fires played a historical role in shaping the forests and life in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Natural fires occurred frequently in many forest types. In Jeffrey pine and pine/white fir forest stands, fires burned every four to seventy-five years. In the higher elevation red fir, western white pine forests, fires burned at least once every seventy years. In lodgepole pine forests fires burned every fifty to seventy years and frequently affected entire stands. Fire behavior in the GR II Prescribed fire represented what could be expected in these diverse stands. Conducting large-scale prescribed fires, such as GR II, enables fire management to reintroduce fire to fire-adapted ecosystems and attempt to mimic natural, historic fire regimes.

Contact: Eric Hensel, Fire Management Officer
Phone: (530) 595-4444 ext. 5168

*This story supports the Department of the Interior initiatives.