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.

Big Nasty Prescribed Burn Project

Lava Beds National Monument, California

Crews hold the control lines on the Big Nasty prescribed fire.

Control lines on the fire one hour after ignition.

In October 2006, Lava Beds National Monument conducted a 4,985 acre prescribed burn, the largest in the monument's history. The Big Nasty Prescribed Fire, located in the southwest section of the monument, is scattered with ponderosa pine, over mature mountain mahogany, bitter brush and juniper. A combination of aerial and hand ignition was used to reach natural resource objectives and provide for firefighter safety.

Within the burn unit there were numerous dead ponderosa pine logs and stumps. A beetle infestation and drought in the 1920's and 1930's caused widespread mortality in ponderosa pine throughout the southern third of the monument. This prescribed fire reduced the fuels under the remaining pine stands and reduced the brush cover in other areas. This will provide protection for the remaining pine stands and will allow stands to expand to areas where they were historically located.

Five study plots that will be monitored by the NPS Klamath Network fire ecologist were established within the project area.

Fire crews from North Cascades National Park, Olympic National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Prineville Interagency Hot Shots, Redding Smoke Jumpers, Firestorm, and the interagency engine at Lava Beds were on hand to make this project successful.

Contact: Al Augustine, Fire Management Officer
Phone: (530) 667-8122