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.

Engine 51 crewmembers Scott Turner and Matt Matteo clearing brush.

The Wilsonia Fire Safe Community

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, California
National Fire Plan, Community Assistance*

Wilsonia, a private community within the boundary of Kings Canyon National Park, has embraced becoming a Fire Safe community; completing Community Wide Protection Plan (CWPP) that included evacuation plans and routes, initial response plans, and taking efforts to make Wilsonia properties fire safe.

Before (top) and after (bottom) clean-up of a NPS property.

The National Park Service began completing defensible space inspections based upon California standards for Wilsonia residents in 2005 and most residents have taken the necessary steps to protect their community from fire. Multiple properties within Wilsonia are owned by the NPS and these properties are inspected as well.

A small team of NPS employees complete clean-up of NPS properties one day a year. However, more was needed to have these properties meet fire safe standards. Inspectors in recent years have noted that NPS properties were not meeting inspection standards and raised the issue to park management in 2009.

This year, an interdivisional National Park Service team completed an intensive clean-up of NPS properties. The NPS team included protection rangers, firefighters, maintenance employees, and resources management and science employees who worked together to ensure that NPS lots and the structures met the inspection standards.

Employees logged over 240 hours clearing lots and structures including removing structural debris, accumulated logs and other natural debris, trimming brush and trees near structures, clearing roofs, and raking pine needles. More importantly, they demonstrated that the NPS is committed to keeping Wilsonia fire safe.

Contact: Deb Schweizer, Fire Communication and Education Specialist
Phone: (559) 565-3703

*This story supports Department of the Interior initiatives.