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.

In January 2010, federal, state, and county firefighters teamed together to suppress a wildland fire burning through 'ohi'a forest in Kealakekua mauka. Photo by Al Aviles. Click for a larger version.

National Park Service Aids Hawaii County Fire Departments

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
National Fire Plan, Community Assistance*

In mid-April 2010, park superintendent Cindy Orlando announced that Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park has successfully obtained $15,600 in funding from the Department of Interior's Rural Fire Assistance Program.

The funds will be awarded to County of Hawaii Fire Department to upgrade and purchase wildland firefighting equipment, and support training of firefighters. The Rural Fire Assistance Program is intended to strengthen the fire protection capabilities of rural fire districts and enhance firefighter and public safety.

"Safe and effective fire suppression in the wildland/urban interface requires close coordination between federal, state, and county firefighters," said National Park Service Fire Management Officer Joe Molhoek. "Hawaii County gives us tremendous support in protecting park lands and this is one way the National Park Service can reciprocate by helping the county upgrade their wildland fire safety equipment and skills."

The National Fire Plan ensued after the 2000 fire season when almost 123,000 wildland fires burned more than 8.4 million acres, and destroyed numerous structures across the United States. Subsequently, recommendations were developed on how to reduce the impacts of fire on rural communities and ensure sufficient firefighting resources for the future. The plan recognized the need for close cooperation between federal, state, local and tribal government agencies. To improve firefighter safety and enhance the wildland fire protection capabilities of rural and volunteer fire departments when responding to wildland fires, the U.S. Congress authorized establishment of the Rural Fire Assistance Program and appropriated $10 million to the Department of the Interior to initiate the program.

Contact: Mardie Lane, Park Ranger
Phone: (808) 985-6018

*This story supports Department of the Interior initiatives.