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.

Wildfire Pacific BB-4 pump on a rebuilt Type 4 engine.

Local Volunteer Fire Department Receives RFA Grant

Fort Laramie National Historic Site, Wyoming
National Fire Plan, Community Assistance*

The National Park Service, through Fort Laramie National Historic Site, provided $3,765.00 in rural fire assistance funding to the Fort Laramie Volunteer Fire Department in 2009. This funding was used to purchase a new Wildfire Pacific BB-4 pump, which was installed on a rebuild of one of the department's type 4 engines. The new BB-4 pump replaces a pump that dated from the early 1970's and had seen service on several chassis before being retired this year.

The department secured funding from the Department of Agriculture Community Development program the previous year for a new Poly-Tank. Together with the BB-4 pump provided by the NPS this year, the department was able to totally rebuild the engine. The department was able to fulfill its obligation of a 10-percent match by providing "in-kind" labor and plumbing fixtures necessary to install the pump.

"The department did a fantastic job reconditioning the engine, you couldn't tell it from a factory job, a comparable commercial rebuild would have cost tens of thousands of dollars," Park Superintendent Mitzi Frank said. "It is amazing, for such a small department to have members that are competent in welding, wiring and machiningâ?¦they even have a master plumber on the rolls. The department is short of funding and long on talent so funding is where we try to help."

The National Park Service has provided the local department with rural fire assistance funding several times since 2001 to improve their wildland firefighting capabilities. Additionally, several Fort Laramie National Historic Site employees volunteer as firefighters and emergency medical technicians with the fire department. Superintendent Frank emphasized the importance of maintaining a good working relationship between the Park and the Fort Laramie Volunteer Fire Department.

"We rely heavily on them to provide nearly all fire protection, both wildland and structural, at the National Historic Site," Frank said.

Contact: Dean Reasoner, Park Ranger
Phone: (307) 837-2221

*This story supports Department of the Interior initiatives.