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.

Rod Skalsky (left), Fire Management Officer at Theodore Rossevelt National Park, accepts the "drip torch" trophy from Doug Alexander (right), Midwest Region Fire & Aviation Management Officer.

North Dakota Area Park Group Fire Management Receives Midwest Regional Fuels Award

Midwest Region

The fire management staff of the North Dakota Area Park Group, located at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota, have been named the winner of the 2008 Midwest Regional Fuels Award. Fire Management Officer, Rod Skalsky, accepted the award on the group's behalf from Midwest Region Fire & Aviation Management Officer Doug Alexander during the Regional Fire Management Meeting held in Omaha, Neb., June 9-11, 2009.

The Fire Management staff of the North Dakota Area Park Group is responsible for three National Park Service units, located throughout the state of North Dakota: Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The fuels and topography of each unit are different, but their location to each other within the region allows for effective resource sharing and collaboration from all the parks.

"Rod Skalsky has continued to "step-up" the development of a solid prescribed fire management program within his area parks," said Alexander. Under his leadership, Skalsky was able to ensure safe completion of the area's prescribed fire projects. Alexander added, "The North Dakota Area Park Group is developing a strong fire management program, and is well deserving of this recognition."

In addition to the successful implementation of the prescribed fires at the area parks, Skalsky has been very involved in the implementation of fire management activities with the interagency assistance from the US Forest Service and the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Through this collaboration and teamwork, he has continued to support those agency cooperators through firefighter training, prescribed fire and fire suppression resources assistance.

This annual award is presented to the park unit or group that shows success in "Outstanding Fire Management Accomplishments." In the 13-state Midwest Region, six Area Park Groups are considered for this annual award.

Contact: Mike Johnson, Midwest Region Fire Communication and Education Specialist
Phone: (402) 661-1760