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.

Practice fire shelter training.

Interagency Wildland Fire Training Academy

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

In September, the Blue Ridge Parkway collaborated with the Virginia Department of Forestry, Bedford County Fire and Rescue, and the USDA Forest Service, to sponsor the 5th annual Bedford County Interagency Wildland Fire Academy. One-hundred forty students and fifty instructors traveled to Camp Jaycee from as far away as Florida, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.

Numerous wildland firefighter training courses were offered during this week-long academy, operated under an incident command system to simulate the operational organization of a wildland fire response incident. In addition to teaching firefighters how to fight wildland fires, the academy also provided an opportunity for experienced firefighters to serve in leadership roles.

Bedford County Interagency Wildland Fire Training Academy information board.

S-130 / S-190 class. Click for a larger version.

The academy wasn't far from where the Quarry Fire burned on private, National Park Service, and USDA Forest Service lands in March 2006. The Quarry Fire was managed under Unified Command with the USDA Forest Service, the Virginia Department of Forestry, and several Rural Fire Departments from Bedford and Roanoke Counties along with the National Park Service. These agencies have all participated in the Bedford County Interagency Wildland Fire Training Academy, supported by Rural Fire Assistance funds under the National Fire Plan. Working together and training together has led to many efficiencies as well as solid working relationships between agencies.

Contact: John Garrison, Chief Ranger
Phone: (828) 271-4779 x 240