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.

Dave Close, Virginia State Master Gardener Coordinator, Virginia Tech; Frank Reilly, author; Barb Stewart, National Park Service. Virginia Tech photo. Click for a larger version.

Smart Yard Care – New Handbook for Homeowners

Northeast Region, (CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NY, PA, VT, VA, WV)
National Fire Plan, Community Assistance*

Smart Yard Care–Big Rewards from Small Investments in Stewardship. NPS photo.

Smart Yard Care Big Rewards from Small Investments in Stewardship, takes a holistic look at landscaping and home life to promote Firewise practices. The book by Francis J. Reilly, Jr. offers environmentally friendly alternatives to burning yard waste, including ways to avoid creating it in the first place. Thoughtful homeowners, especially those in Mid-Atlantic States, will find good information to help reduce, reuse or recycle yard waste, decreasing fuels from around their homes. Debris burning is a major cause of unwanted wildfires and reducing that activity may also help decrease wildfire starts. The handbook provides useful tips on dealing with invasive species and living with wildlife, as well as protecting human homes and landscapes from wildfire.

The book is the culmination of an idea first brought to the Virginia Cooperative Extension of Virginia Tech by Barb Stewart of the National Park Service. She, Stephanie Bushong of the USDA Forest Service and Cindy Frenzel, then with the Virginia Department of Forestry, were looking for environmentally sensitive ways to help people protect their homes from wildland fire. David D. Close, Virginia State Master Gardener Coordinator, was project director. National Fire Plan funds supported the project through an agreement with the National Park Service Southern Appalachian Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit.

To purchase copies of Smart Yard Care, go to the Virginia Master Gardener Program website.

Two stories relate earlier stages of the project:

Contact: Barb Stewart, Fire Communication Specialist,
NPS Northeast & National Capital Regions
Phone: (434) 220-9065

*This story supports Department of the Interior initiatives.