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.

Firefighters assess a home for one of the homeowner participants at All Fire Day.

Homeowners, Firefighters Prepare Together
for Wildfire Season

National Fire Plan, Accountability*
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Despite inclement weather, firefighters and homeowners participated in the 11th annual All Fire Day training exercise June 6 at Star Valley Ranch, Wyoming. Firefighters from Teton, Sublette, Sweetwater and Lincoln counties, as well as Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Wyoming State Forestry Division gathered together to improve interagency coordination, emergency preparedness, communication and skills. The exercise gave interagency fire personnel the chance to "train the way they fight," which was the theme of the event.

Interagency firefighters cut line and fall trees around a pile burn used as a training exercise at All Fire Day.

Firefighter drills included: laying firefighting hoses for defending areas from approaching wildfire; digging lines to confine a wildfire to a particular area; practicing techniques and tactics for insuring a fire is extinguished; and responding to staged motor vehicle accidents and medical emergencies.

"The drills provide an opportunity for firefighters from all around the area to work together in a simulated incident," said Incident Commander Bryan Karchut. "We are very grateful to the town of Star Valley Ranch. The town leaders and many residents gave up their Saturday and let us invade their neighborhood. Now, should Star Valley Ranch be threatened by a wildfire, we've all worked together and are familiar with the town-and they are with us."

Pat Durland, national Firewise coordinator from Boise, Idaho, worked with some of the crews to conduct home assessments along the forest boundary to see if a home could withstand an approaching wildfire. Homeowners had been asked in advance to perform their own assessments so they could compare notes with the firefighters. The crews evaluated nine homes for the Firewise program and provided information to the residents.

National Firewise Coordinator Pat Durland (right) explains the home risk assessment process to Star Valley Ranch town officials and interagency firefighters.

Wyoming Governor David Freudenthal, Wyoming State Senator Dan Dockstader and three Lincoln County Commissioners made an appearance at All Fire Day to applaud the efforts of the firefighters. Established in 1998, All Fire Day provides opportunities for interagency fire personnel to complete field exercises that test skills. The exercises also promote safety and efficiency in wildland firefighting, while building relationships and better communication through increased agency coordination.

Contact: Traci Weaver, Fire Communication and Education Specialist
Phone: (307) 739-3692

*This story supports the Department of the Interior initiatives.