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.

"Followership to Leadership" provides self-assessment opportunities for the people preparing to step into leadership roles. This is one of the problem solving exercises. VDOF photo.

Virginia Interagency Wildland Fire Academy

National Fire Plan, Firefighting*
NPS Northeast Region & Virginia Department of Forestry

The 9th Virginia Interagency Wildland Fire Academy trained 265 volunteer and paid firefighters. They came from 70 departments across Virginia as well as state and federal agencies with wildland fire responsibilities. The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) planned and ran the Academy using the Incident Command System. Funding came from the National Fire Plan's Ready Reserve Program, through the National Park Service Northeast Region. Two additional academies are planned for later this year.

"Tractor Plow Operations" instructor Alex Williamson briefs VA Secretary of Public Safety John Marshall. VDOF photo.

The 16-course Academy included Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone, Initial Attack Incident Commander, basic and advanced wildland firefighter training and Intermediate Fire Behavior. Most included both classroom instruction and hands-on training. Instructors were from local departments, state and federal agencies and a non-governmental organization.

"Wildfire Power Saws" included hands-on work in saw maintenance, as well as safe saw operations. Here, Ricky Coffey of Amherst County gets some encouragement from Joe Jarrells (right). VDOF photo.

A number of top officials from the Commonwealth of Virginia observed the excellent training one day: Robert Bloxom, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry; William Dickenson, Deputy Secretary; John Marshall, Secretary of Public Safety; Willie Shelton, Executive Director of Virginia Department of Fire Programs; Brian Shepard, Policy Director, Office of the Governor, and Carl Garrison, State Forester, Virginia Department of Forestry.

Contact: Barb Stewart, Northeast and National Capital Regions, Fire Communication and Education Specialist
Phone: (434) 220-9065

*This story supports the Department of the Interior initiatives.