• An aerial view of Old Faithful erupting taken from Observation Point with the Old Faithful Inn to the side.

    Yellowstone

    National Park ID,MT,WY

Wildland Fire Engines

Structure Protection

Structure protection at the East Entrance 2001.

Yellowstone has two wildland fire engines. Both are medium-sized engines to be used either for wildland fire operations or structure protection in the wildland-urban interface. Currently, only the engine foreman position is staffed. A crew of two to three crewmen is gathered on an as needed basis until a crew is hired next year.

Engine crews are used for initial attack on developing fires close to roads. The crew can hike or be flown to fires in more remote areas. During extended attack, engine crews support fireline production, structure protection, and helicopter operations. One advantage of engine crews is the ability to use water to build "wetline". Wetline is fireline that uses water in place of digging to mineral soil. This minimizes the impact to vegetation and limits erosion.

Structure triage is the process of identifying which structures can be saved and which can not be saved. For those structures that can be saved, sprinklers and foil wrap can be used for protection. Reducing fuels around the structures is also a valuable technique to reduce the intensity of fires around structures.

Yellowstone maintains a cache of pumps and water handling equipment. Pumps are of several different varieties and capacities from small pumps for mopping up to large pumps to support structure protection.

Did You Know?

Fire in Yellowstone Pineland in 1988

The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.