News Release Date: April 4, 2017
Contact: J. Michael Johnson, 402-661-1760
The Fire Management staff from Arkansas Area Park Group, have been named the winners of the annual Midwest Regional Fire Management Award, which is conferred by the Fire Management staff of the National Park Service (NPS), Midwest Region. Buffalo National River Fire Management Officer, Fenn Wimberly, accepted the award on the group’s behalf from the acting NPS Midwest Region Fire & Aviation Management Officer, Scott Beacham, during the NPS national fire management officer conference held in Boise, ID the week of March 20, 2017.
The fire management staff of the Arkansas Area Park Group, based out of Buffalo National River in Harrison, Arkansas are responsible for six NPS units located throughout the state of Arkansas — Buffalo National River, Fort Smith National Historic Site, Pea Ridge National Military Park, Hot Springs National Park, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, and Arkansas Post National Memorial. The fuels and topography of each unit are different, but their location near each other allows for effective resource sharing and collaboration from all the parks.
Scott Beacham, Acting Regional Fire & Aviation Management Officer for the NPS Midwest Region stated, “The fire staff at Buffalo National River completed almost 17,000 acres of fuel treatments in fiscal year 2016.” Adding, “In addition to completing those objectives at the parks within the Arkansas Area Park Group, they assisted with prescribed fires at other parks within the Midwest Region, including Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Fort Scott National Historic Site, and Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The Arkansas Area Park Group has a strong fire management program, and is well deserving of this recognition.”
In addition to the collaboration and teamwork, members of the fire staff fill crucial roles as members of interagency incident management teams, serve as instructors at area fire training academies, and also sit on numerous local committees and planning groups that are vital in helping form and shape fire management policy for the National Park Service.
This annual Midwest Regional Office Fire Management Award is presented to the park unit or group in the 13-state Midwest Region, which shows success in “Outstanding Fire Management Accomplishments.”