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.

Children listen to a program regarding fire at Camp Smokey.

California Parks Support Camp Smokey 2006—A Complex Interagency Fire Education Event

Pacific West Region

Eight national parks of California participated at Camp Smokey, an interagency event at the California State Fair. Employees from Yosemite, Lassen Volcanic, Joshua Tree and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks as well as Whiskeytown NRA, Golden Gate NRA, Point Reyes NS and John Muir NHS all worked at the fair from 1 to 4 day shifts. The State Fair is a 3 week event that runs from mid-August until Labor Day.

The interagency event includes US Forest Service, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs as well as Sacramento Fire Service. Camp Smokey, located inside the fairgrounds, is a permanent installation which includes 4 miniature houses, a trail, a fire lookout tower, a FIREWISE garden, and a grove of redwood trees. Each of the houses has a fire theme including indoor fire safety, emergency preparedness, the dangers of wildfire and a house that emphasizes the benefits of fire and its role in the forest.

Camp Smokey is a family-oriented event conducted by interagency staff and partners from across the state. The experience is activity-oriented, much like a junior ranger program, in which completion of a passport booklet by visiting the multiple stations earns participants an award to take home. In addition to reaching over 10,000 guests at the fair, the event is also part of an outreach effort to high school students in the Fresno area from multi-cultural and primarily farming backgrounds. These students belong to a year-long leadership program and the fair is one of the highlights where all of their skills come together. They work with staff from the various agencies learning about fire education and prevention while speaking and teaching to Camp Smokey visitors.

NPS participation this year included 2 fire education specialists, 1 public affairs specialist, 1 interpreter, 1 fire use module member, 2 engine module members and 1 seasonal biological technician. Participants were invited to stay in the McClellen Training Center dormitories, courtesy of gracious USFS hosts.

Contact: Carol Jandrall, Fire Communications and Education Specialist—Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
Phone: (530) 359-2304