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.

Five full loads of various sized mimosas were removed near Alley Mill.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways Fire Aids Resource Management in Accomplishing Natural & Cultural Resource Goals

Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri
National Fire Plan, Fuels Reduction*

In March 2010 the fire management staff of the Missouri Park Group, located at Ozark National Scenic Riverways, helped the park's resource management staff accomplish a project to remove a nonnative invasive species and improve the historic viewshed of Alley Mill.

With extra firefighters on hand to assist with prescribed burning of over 4000 acres in the park, the fire crew was able to help thin a growing population of Albizia julibrissin. This small tree, commonly known as mimosa, is found throughout the southeastern United States and can be invasive. In fact, this population had spread along a slough adjacent to Alley Mill and begun to obstruct the historically open view of the mill.

Crew members haul mimosas to a waiting trailer.

Alley Mill, a steel roller mill constructed in 1894, is one of the most photographed historic mills in the United States. Nestled at the base of a picturesque bluff on the bank of Alley Spring, it was once the social center of a small Ozark hamlet. It is a significant cultural resource and a symbol of community pride for locals. In fact, Alley Mill was selected as the image to represent the National Park Service in Missouri when the U.S. Mint announced its America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The Alley Mill Quarter will be released in 2017.

Crew members haul mimosas to a waiting trailer.

The crew used chainsaws, loppers, and hand-pulling to remove five large trailer loads - an estimated total of over 1000 mimosa trees! A stump treatment of herbicide was then applied to help prevent re-sprouting. Firefighters from Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Black Hills Wildland Fire Module, Voyageurs National Park, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, Denali National Park and Preserve, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service participated in this project.

Contact: Dena Matteson, Fire Communication and Education Specialist
Phone: (573) 323-8234 ext. 21

*This story supports Department of the Interior initiatives.