Creating Defensible Spaces

Two employees in uniform looking at a pile of logs and brush on fire
Two employees monitoring a burn pile at the park's Northeast Entrance.

Fire is an important part of Yellowstone's ecosystem, but we also work to protect human lives and the park's developed areas from fire.

"Many people don't realize there are nearly 2,000 structures in the park. In addition to actively managing wildfires, we proactively reduce fuel by creating defensible spaces around all of the structures in the park." - Fire Ecologist Becky Smith

In order to create a defensible space, hazard trees are trimmed or cut down, and usable wood is given to firewood permittees or district rangers for various projects. Leftover fuel is stacked and burned when the fire danger is low. These proactive measures minimize the fire intensity, should a wildfire threaten the area.

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Last updated: September 24, 2020

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Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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