Wildland Fire

Xolumn of smoke rising in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, 2012. See more images on the photogallery page! (NPS Photo/Yasunori Matsui)
  • Aerial view of fire shows a large plume of smoke contrasting with a bright blue sky

    Column of smoke rising in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, 2012. See more images on the photogallery page! (NPS Photo/Yasunori Matsui)

  • Plane dropping water while flying over a fire and a first-person view from inside a plane flying toward a fire.

    Plane drops water on a wildfire in Denali NP, 2013 & Lake Clark NP pilot flies toward a 2013 wildfire. Learn more about aviation. (Left: Photo courtesy of Ralph Clevenger. Right: NPS Photo/Yasunori Matsui)

  • Lake and aerial views of Lake Clark NP Currant Creek Fire, 2013. Fire happens. (Photos courtesy of C & G Corey)

  • A fire service employee stands atop a boat and in the wilderness monitoring a fire's progress

    BLM, Alaska Fire Service smokejumper monitors the Lake Clark NP Currant Creek Fire, 2013. Fire managers work together. (NPS Photo/Yasunori Matsui)

  • A before-and-after photo shows charred landscape once again covered with green vegetation

    After fire, blackened soils are nutrient-rich and prime locations for new growth. 2013 Denali NP wildfires. What happens after fire? (NPS Photo/Yasunori Matsui)

  • Person using clippers to take samples of vegetation and placing them in a container

    Moisture matters: Fire scientists inspect vegetation to test for flammability. (NPS Photo/Yasunori Matsui)

  • Three wildland fire management employees laughing and smiling

    Work for Alaska NPS Wildand Fire Management and you'll work with great folks! Fire management staff, 2013. Interested in a job? (NPS Photo/Yasunori Matsui)

Practicing the art & science of fire management in order to protect, preserve, & enhance park resources & values.

Wildland fire managers in Alaska national parks are stewards of a land mass a bit larger than Austria. Since 1950, 1,072 fires in the parks have burned nearly three million acres. And 82 percent of the fires were caused by lightning and burned in the boreal forest or tundra where fire is a natural process that restores ecosystem health and wildlife habitat. Alaska national parks experience natural fire!

Staff excel at managing large and long duration fires by balancing the risks and benefits of fire and committing to safety, science and stewardship. They do not do it alone. NPS, Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service and State of Alaska Division of Forestry respond to fires as an effective team. NPS fire staff work with communities, local, state, federal and native organizations to keep Alaskans and visitors safe and landscapes healthy.

Managing wildfire for social and ecological benefits is complicated in a state roughly two-thirds the size of the continental United States. A year-round program, fire management involves more than meets the eye. The small staff spends much of the year planning for fire occurrence, projects and safe logistics in parks. Nimble and efficient, staff are leaders in the use of technology, science, communication and collaborating with partners and peers.

The Alaska wildfire season typically begins in late May and ends in late July. On average, one million acres burn statewide each year.

Wildland Fire Highlights

  • Fire News

    Up-to-date information about wildfires burning in Alaska national parks and projects.

  • Fire Stories

    Interesting stories that highlight lessons learned and best practices from the Alaska Wildland Fire Management Program.

  • Photos & Videos

    A cornucopia of great Alaska Wildland Fire Management Program photos and videos you can use.

  • Science, Ecology & Research

    Learn about the revealing world of fire science, ecology, and research.

Last Updated: June 17, 2016