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.

Learning at Shennadoah

Jun Kinoshita speaks with participants about how resource advisors can help at the site of a recent fire in Shenandoah National Park. NPS photo by Bill Spinrad.

Training for Resource Advisors Enhances Resource Protection during Incidents

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

In April 2011, fifty-three people completed the Incident Resource Advisor Training hosted by Shenandoah National Park in Luray, Virginia. The course gave participants the background to serve as Resource Advisors (READs) during wildland fires and all hazard incidents. READs work with Incident Command Teams and fireline personnel to minimize the impacts of fire, fire management activities and post-fire conditions to natural and cultural resources. READs are also critical to begin identifying needs related to the repair of fire suppression impacts, Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) and Burned Area Rehabilitation (BAR).

A small cadre from Pacific West Region and the Fire Management Program Center developed the sophisticated, well-received course. In April, the training came east and 46 NPS employees were joined by 7 others from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the USDA Forest Service and the Virginia Department of Forestry. The training cadre was enhanced with local experts on aspects of resource protection and incident management.

Shennadoah group photo

Group photo at Shenandoah National Park. NPS photo by Barb Stewart.

This course is part of a larger effort to bring together the fire and resource management communities. Courses have been held around much of the country and the plan is to conduct them in the Midwest and Alaska. Attendees from earlier courses served as Resource Advisors on Deepwater Horizon. For some, it was their first incident management experience and many credited the training with allowing them to function in a vast, complicated working environment.

The resource protection component of the NPS mission uniquely positions the NPS to lead the Resource Advisor field and define the roles and responsibilities of the READ in the coming years. The READ position and by extension this curriculum, provides a model of inter-disciplinary cooperation which benefits the resources we are charged to protect for the good of the American people.

Contact: Rich Schwab, National Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Coordinator
Phone: (208) 387-5642

*This story supports the Department of the Interior initiatives.