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.

Rocky Mountain National Park Distributes Federal Funding To Local Volunteer Fire Departments

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
National Fire Plan, Community Assistance*

The National Park Service (NPS), through Rocky Mountain National Park, provided $27,000.00 in Rural Fire Assistance (RFA) funding to assist four local volunteer fire departments in 2010. Allenspark Fire Protection District (VFD) was awarded $9,000.00, Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) was awarded $7,000.00, Glen Haven VFD was awarded $3,800.00, and Grand Lake Fire Protection District was awarded $7,200.00 in funding. The funding will be used to provide local volunteer firefighters with critical wildland fire equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), and emergency communication equipment. Since 2001, Rocky Mountain National Park has provided over $250,000.00 in grant funding to local volunteer fire departments through the RFA program.

"We depend heavily on our local VFDs, particularly within the wildland-urban interface," said Mike Lewelling, Fire Management Officer. "We are pleased to be able to return the favor by helping them purchase much needed safety equipment and gear."

As part of the National Fire Plan, the Rural Fire Assistance (RFA) program is designed to increase firefighter safety and enhance the fire protection capabilities of rural fire departments that assist park fire crews with suppression duties. RFA is intended to increase local firefighter safety and enhance the fire protection capabilities of rural fire departments by helping departments meet accepted standards of wildland fire qualifications, training, and performance for initial and extended attack at the local level. Fire departments may use the funding to conduct training and purchase wildland fire equipment and supplies.

The Rural Fire Assistance program is operated on a cost-share basis. Fire departments serving a community with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants are eligible for funding and must contribute a 10 percent share of the grant total, including in-kind labor.

Contact: Nate Williamson
Phone: (970) 586-1318

*This story supports Department of the Interior initiatives.