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.

Local Volunteer Fire Department Receives RFA Grant

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
National Fire Plan, Community Assistance*

The National Park Service, through Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area, provided $6,300.00 in Rural Fire Assistance funding to the Big Horn County Fire Protection District #1. The fire department used the funding to purchase a Hale Float Pump, two Bendix King P25 handheld radios and a charger, 10 Snaptite 1 1/5-inch hose rolls, and a 390 Stihl Chainsaw.

“We’re glad the Rural Fire Assistance program helps fund equipment for the volunteer fire department,” said Chip Collins, fire management officer for Grand Teton National Park, which supports Big Horn Canyon NRA. “We rely heavily on the fire department and the Bighorn National Forest to provide initial attack on wildfires for Big Horn Canyon as we don’t have any fulltime fire staff at the park.”

The Big Horn County Fire Protection District #1 covers 600 square miles, which includes initial attack responsibilities for a large portion of the Big Horn Canyon NRA. They also have an agreement to cover initial response for park land and provide structure protection for the Montana side of the NRA up to the reservation line.

“We feel it is important to keep good equipment and have good communications,” said Station Manager Bob Mangus. “Our float pumps were getting old and needed to be replaced, and we needed a few more radios to maintain good communications with each person on the fireline.”

The National Park Service has provided the local department with rural fire assistance funding several times since 2001 to improve their wildland firefighting capabilities.

Float pump purchased with rural fire assistance.

Big Horn County purchased a float pump with rural fire assistance funding.

Contact: Dale Kissner, South District Ranger
Phone: (307) 548-5401

*This story supports the Department of the Interior initiatives.