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.

Grand Canyon Receives Regional Fuels & Ecology Award

Grand Canyon National Park
Cohesive Strategy—Maintain and Restore Landscapes*

On July 29, 2011, Jasper Peach, Assistant Lead Fire Effects Monitor, and Jennifer Peach, a volunteer for the Environmental Education Branch at Grand Canyon National Park, were awarded a National Park Service (NPS) Intermountain Regional Fuels & Ecology Award for developing a Grand Canyon-specific fire ecology curriculum for use by educators as part of their science curriculum. The award was presented by Park Superintendent, Dave Uberuaga, at an employee safety awards luncheon on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

recipients of the fire ecology award, posing with superintendent

Jennifer and Jasper Peach receive NPS Intermountain Region fire ecology award from Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. NPS photo by Maureen Oltrogge.

Jasper has worked as the Assistant Lead Fire Effects Monitor at Grand Canyon National Park since 2009. Prior to that, Jasper spent a year as a fire effects crewmember at Grand Canyon, a season as a fire effects crewmember at Redwood National Park, and a season working for Humboldt State University on the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area vegetation map. Jasper lives and works primarily on the North Rim of Grand Canyon, and spends two to three months per year on the South Rim.

In the fall of 2009, Jasper applied for and received money from the Grand Canyon Association's small grant program and the NPS Intermountain Region Fire and Aviation program to develop and purchase supplies for a fire ecology education program.

After completing her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology at New College of Florida, Jennifer Peach began volunteering for Grand Canyon's Environmental Education Branch and collaborating with Jasper on the fire ecology curriculum. Jasper and Jennifer spent two months developing the original curriculum and approximately six additional months testing and refining the text and activities.

Jasper was first inspired to work on a Grand Canyon-specific fire ecology curriculum after working with the local Grand Canyon School District 7th grade class and the Grand Canyon Environmental Education Branch to integrate an international fire curriculum into the local science classes.

The program is geared toward middle and high school students and is currently being offered by Grand Canyon's Environmental Education staff to local and visiting school groups. The program gives students a chance to conduct monitoring activities like a professional and to gain a greater understanding of the fire activities occurring in the forests around them.

The Fire Ecology on the Rim curriculum is available online.

Contact: Edward R. Hiatt, North Zone Fire Management Officer
Phone: (928) 643-8101

*This story supports the Department of the Interior initiatives.