Fire Management

Indiana Dunes Fire Management Staff 2017
Fire Program's Vision Statement-Indiana Dunes Fire Management will conduct operations with intensity, dedication, integrity, and strong ethical, mental and physical standards.

Jeff Manuszak

The goals of the fire management program at Indiana Dunes National Parkare to manage wildland fire to protect the public and communities, conserve natural and cultural resources, and restore and maintain ecological health.

The Fire Management program in Indiana Dunes National Park encompasses a wide variety of disciplines. The national park fire management staff includes: the fire management officer, a wildland fire specialist, a fire program managment assistant, firefighters, fire effects personnel, and a fire prevention and education technician. They perform a full range of wildland fire management operations and services, including; fire prevention and education, planned ignitions and suppression of unplanned ignitions, hazard fuels management, monitoring, and research. For a copy of the fire program's 2016 accomplishments, please contact the Fire Prevention and Education Specialist at 219-395-8150 or email us..

The staff is also responsible for overseeing the fire management operations at 12 other parks in the Midwest known as the Great Lakes Fire Management Zone. These park units include: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, St Croix National Scenic Riverway, George Rogers Clark National Historic Park, Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home National Historic Site, Pullman National Monument, River Raisin National Battlefield Park, Ice Age National Scenit Trail, North Country National Scenic Trail, and the Mississippi National River Recreation Area.

The plans and actions of the Indiana Dunes National Park Fire Management staff are guided by the park's Fire Management Plan. For a copy of the Fire Management Plan, please contact the Fire Prevention and Education Specialist at 219-395-8150 or email us.

Backing surface fire in a oak savanna
backing fire through oak savanna

Planned Ignitions Prescribed fire is used to ignite low intensity fires when weather conditions are right. The goal of prescribed fire is to reduce hazardous fuel build-up, while safely reintroducing fire to the ecosystem to meet specific resource management objectives.

Fire in Beach Grass
Fire in Beach Grass
Unplanned Ignitions
All unplanned fires at the national lakeshore will be put out as quickly as possible. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore fire staff work closely with interagency partners including Indiana Department of Natural Resources, local fire departments of Porter and Lake Counties and the City of Gary.
Using a drip torch to ignite a prescribed fire.
Igniting a Prescribed Fire

Mechanical Treatments
A variety of tools and equipment are used to reduce forest fuels in the park. They include the use of chain saws, weed eaters, hand crews, and chippers to maintain defensible space around buildings, create and maintain shaded fuel breaks, and to clear along roadways. Small trees and brush are cut, piled and burned during appropriate times.

Junior Firefighter with Cub Scouts
Junior Firefighter with Cub Scouts

Fire Education and Prevention
Fire staff work to educate park visitors, employees, agency partners and neighbors about wildland fire, prescribed fire and fire management policy at Indiana Dunes.
Children can learn about wildland fire in our National Parks by attending the Junior Wildland Firefighter program. This is a hands on program where kids can learn all about wildland fire management.

Last updated: April 13, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304


219 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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