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.

Klamath National Forest holding operations on the Valentine prescribed fire.

Resource Sharing Leads to Prescribed Fire Success

Lava Beds National Monument, California
National Fire Plan, Fuels Reduction*

Lava Beds National Monument has a long history of assisting other units and receiving assistance on prescribed fires from neighboring agencies and other National Park Service units. Looking back at old project files, interagency and National Park Service resource sharing has been around since the beginning of prescribed fire at the Monument. The 2,094 acre Valentine prescribed fire, which took place in autumn 2009 was no exception. The window for this burn came on short notice, and the Monument"s neighbors responded to this urgent need by providing resources from three different national forests, a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Refuge and four National Park Service units.

Whiskeytown NRA and Klamath National Forest engines assist on the Valentine prescribed fire.

It was a particularly impressive response from the Klamath National Forest"s Goosenest Ranger District (RD) and from the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. For three days of the burn, the Goosenest RD provided two Type 3 Engines and two crews for a total of 25 people each day. Whiskeytown NRA provided essential overhead (including the Type 1 Burn Boss, a Firing Boss, a Plastic Sphere Dispenser Operator and an engine).

Interagency crews have identified a lava tube within the project as a significant safety hazard.

Good relationships with neighboring agencies and other National Park Service units are beneficial for everyone. By keeping resource exchanges somewhat equitable with other agencies, the park has been able to enhance their assistance to other NPS units and partners.

In the past two years, Lava Beds National Monument has sent resources to help out with prescribed fires on the Klamath National Forest, Modoc National Forest, Klamath Falls BLM, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Crater Lake National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, and Redwoods National and State Parks. It was through developing and maintaining these relationships the Valentine prescribed fire was possible, as assistance was available when needed.

The 2,094 acre Valentine prescribed fire unit consists of juniper woodlands, Ponderosa pine, and sagebrush. It was burned to reduce fuel loads which have accumulated as a result of fire exclusion and promote restoration by allowing fire, as an ecosystem process, to resume its role on the landscape.

Contact: Syndy Zerr, Fire Management Officer
Phone: (530) 667-8122

Contact: John Donahue, Fuels Management Specialist
Phone: (530) 667-8125

*This story supports Department of the Interior initiatives.