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.

Skycrane dipping from a reservoir.

Skycrane dipping out of the Stilling Basin with 2011 Antelope Creek fire in the background.

Lake Meredith NRA Assists Communities during Extreme Drought

Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, Texas
Cohesive Strategy—Response to Wildfire*

The drought of 2011 has been an unprecedented event in Texas. Lake Meredith National Recreation Area (NRA) responded to this event by requesting fire severity funds for extraordinary preparedness activities due to the abnormal increase in fire potential, beginning in April 2011. Nine months later Lake Meredith NRA is still in severity, which is predicted to continue through the spring of 2012.

Severity funding has allowed the National Park Service (NPS) to hire qualified local citizens to work on an emergency basis, enabling quick response to wildland fires. The funding has also enabled the NPS to extend employment of firefighters who would normally be furloughed.

During the past 12 months Lake Meredith NRA fire personnel have responded to 37 fires, that have burned 122,192 acres in Moore, Hutchinson and Potter counties, all within the Texas Panhandle.  Total expenditures during this severity period are $283,274.  One-hundred percent of this funding has gone directly to employing citizens to assist with wildfire response and purchasing fuel for fire response vehicles.  The use of severity funding has mitigated losses by improving suppression response capability and helped support local communities.

Contact: Bruce Fields, Fire Management Officer

Email: Bruce_Fields@nps.gov

Phone: (715) 483-2285

*This story supports Department of the Interior initiatives.