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.

Detailers Help Cumberland Gap Wildland Fire Module Succeed During a Challenging Prescribed Fire Season

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
National Fire Plan, Fuels Reduction*

Cumberland Gap Wildland Fire Module including detailers, at Congaree National Park. Click on image to see the full photograph.

In November 2009, the Cumberland Gap Wildland Fire Module (CUGA WFM) leader was injured during a felling accident. During his six-month recovery, which coincided with the southern prescribed fire season, the module was challenged to fill a crucial leadership position. To solve the problem, the module started its first detailer program, allowing personnel from all over the United States to get fire experience and training opportunities in the Southeast. National Park Service firefighters from Zion NP, Golden Gate NRA, and Saguaro NP, as well as 3 members from Alpine IHC, served in various trainee roles, in addition to serving as burn boss, ranging from engine boss to prescribed burn boss. Feedback from the detailers was universally positive and reflected well on their experience with the module and the region.

Fire engine patrols control line of the Dark Ridge burn unit at Cumberland Gap. Photo by Kelly Brownson.

The 2010 season started with a first-entry burn at Moores Creek National Battlefield, assisted by Drew Page from the Great Smoky Mountains Wildland Fire Module as burn boss. During the 2010 season the CUGA WFM implemented 15 different prescribed burns at 8 different national parks and 1 USFS assist. Nearly 7,000 total acres were treated during the 2010 spring season. In addition to fuel reduction, the module's work also met various ecological goals and objectives. During a challenging season, the CUGA WFM and its detailers worked together to implement prescribed fire in a safe and ecological manner in the Southeast Region.

Contact: Sasha Ernst, Module Assistant Lead
Phone: (276) 861-3418

*This story supports Department of the Interior initiatives.