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.

Two men in Nomex and protective equipment use chainsaws to cut logs while other crewmembers work in the distance.

AmeriCorps FireCorps members work on a fuel reduction project at Fort Hill. NPS / Barbara Dougan

Developing a Skilled Fire Management Workforce

Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts
Cohesive Strategy—Response to Wildfire*

AmeriCorps Cape Cod and the Cape Cod National Seashore have partnered in a collaborative fire management program to help meet the fire management goals of the Seashore and implement the Barnstable County Wildfire Preparedness Plan.

Two crewmembers, one with a chainsaw, the other kneeling smile at the camera.

AmeriCorps members Sean Crimmins and Tyler Cross are two of six members on a FireCorps team training and serving with Cape Cod National Seashore's Fire Management Program. NPS / Barbara Dougan

AmeriCorps Cape Cod placed six members, known as the ‘FireCorps’ with the fire management program at the Cape Cod National Seashore in September 2012. ¬†FireCorps members completed basic wildland fire, chainsaw operation and maintenance, and leadership training during October. From November 2012 thru July 2013, under supervision provided by the Seashore, the FireCorps has provided and will provide service hours on fire management projects throughout the park including: prescribed burning, pile burning, forest thinning and brushing of fire roads. When not engaged in service with the Seashore, FireCorps members serve throughout Barnstable County on projects including fuel reduction, habitat restoration, and completing FireWise House Assessments (http://www.firewise.org/).

Amy Henderson, AmeriCorps Cape Cod Program Specialist, stated "It is a great partnership where ACC members are extensively trained in fire management practices, strategies and tactics. They are provided with real hands on experience over the course of their 11-months of service, and in turn are providing a valuable service to both the Seashore and the Barnstable County community.”

Leslie Reynolds, Chief Ranger at Cape Cod National Seashore, says the partnership "…better prepares the Seashore for dealing with wildland fires as well as catastrophic events. The FireCorps is well trained and is gaining experience in incident preparation and response, safety, situational awareness and after action reviews.”

The partnership also meets the National Park Service’s Call to Action goals to develop a future skilled workforce and provide stewardship opportunities.

The FireCorps, primarily trained for wildland fuels management service, are cross-trained to respond to wildland fires and all risk incidents. After Hurricane Sandy impacted the New York / New Jersey metropolitan area, members were deployed with the Seashore team to Liberty and Ellis Island. From working 14-hour days, showering in a mobile unit, and sleeping on cots – members were introduced to the ins and outs of a typical deployment.

In the event of a long, dry or extended spring fire season, expect to see yellow shirted FireCorps members providing support at wildfires in Barnstable County.

Contact: David Crary Jr., Fire Management Officer, Cape Cod National Seashore

Email: david_crary@nps.gov

Phone: (508) 957-0716

*This story supports the Department of the Interior initiatives.