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.

Wrangell-St. Elias Residents and Fire Staff Create Firewise Zone

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, Alaska
Cohesive Strategy—Fire-Adapted Communities*

Vegetation, with glacier and mountainous terrain in distance.

Thick vegetation at the project site posed a fire risk before the thinning project. Wrangell-St. Elias NP's Root Glacier is in the background. NPS

Wildfire happens in Alaska, and residents who live in the Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve are ready.

Concerned about the fire risk, the proactive landowners removed flammable vegetation around their property, but more work needed to be done. They requested NPS fire professionals reduce vegetation on NPS lands adjacent to their property.

In September 2012, fire staff from Alaska national parks area fire management programs and a Southeast Alaska Guidance Association (SAGA) crew selectively thinned and limbed flammable vegetation on NPS lands that surrounded the private property. They pulled the woody debris to the road, loaded it onto trucks, hauled and then piled it at a safe burn site. Staff plans to burn the large piles this spring.

The combined efforts of the residents, NPS and SAGA resulted in a Firewise zone that will reduce the fire risk to the property and provide a safer environment for the residents and firefighters in the event of a wildfire.

Visit for more information about the park's wildland fire management program and the Alaska Firewise program.

Contact: James Sullivan, Alaska NPS Eastern Area Fire Management Officer


Phone: (907) 455-0651

*This story supports the Department of the Interior initiatives.