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.

Park visitors watching the Grant West I prescribed fire from the Grant Tree Trail.

Busy Season at Grant Grove

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, California

The Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park houses a fantastic intersection of park visitors, private residents, and spectacular natural resources like giant sequoia trees. While all of these groups have a different relationship with fire, they do share a common need for its responsible management.

Restoring and maintaining fire's presence on the landscape is beneficial for people and the forest. Regular fires not only reduce the risk to communities, but they also stimulate healthy habitats for plants and animals.

During the summer and fall of 2005, fire crews ignited four prescribed fires in the Grant Grove area totaling 870 acres. While this was a fairly aggressive schedule for one year, managers needed to make progress on a backlog of projects caused by several years of no prescribed burning.

Two of the projects in 2005, Grant G and Grant E, were "restoration burns" which means that the landscape had not burned since the park was established. The prescribed burns thus "restored" the essential process of fire to the area.

The other two projects, Grant West I and Grant West II were "maintenance burns." These areas were intentionally burned in the 1990s and it was time to burn them again to match the natural fire cycle. Each successive fire in an area maintains the healthy conditions that were created by earlier fires.

"The burns at Grant Grove last year were a great example of how we use prescribed fire for both restoration and maintenance," said David Bartlett, District Fire Management Officer for Kings Canyon National Park. "Restoring the process of fire to new areas is important, but we cannot forget to maintain the areas that we've already treated."

Contact: Jody Lyle, Fire Communication & Education Specialist
Phone: (559) 565-3703