The beginning of the prescribed fire program
Defining Moments - Prescribed Fire Program
In the late 1960s, after decades of helping to saturate the public with the message, "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires," the National Park Service began a program to reintroduce fire, a natural process, back into the park ecosystems. Wind Cave was one of the first parks to embrace this revolutionary idea with a small burn in 1973 along roads in the eastern part of the park. Since that famous burn, then park has developed a plan to burn a small portion of the park each year until, every ten to twelve years, the entire park is burned - mimicking the natural fire regime. The use of fire as a tool to manage the prairie and the forest has been critical to the park and it speaks to the role natural processes play in the park's management plans.