The Fire Management Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) was released for public review in September 2012. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) approving the park’s proposed approach to fire management was recently signed by the Regional Director of the Intermountain Region of the National Park Service.
Key aspects of EA include updated information on the environment, information on new fire management policy, and establishment of a one-quarter mile fire suppression zone around all major park developed areas as a way to manage and mitigate fire risk.
Information from the EA and FONSI will be used to create a new Fire Management Plan, the operational document which will detail how the park will implement the approved decision.
Copies of the EA and the FONSI are available on the National Park Service Planning, Environment, and Public Comment web site athttp://parkplanning.nps.gov/ynpfireplan. A hard copy of both documents may also be requested by calling (307) 344-2017, or by writing to Compliance Office, Attention: Fire Management EA, National Park Service, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.
The Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) is a fire adapted ecosystem. Fire plays an important role in maintaining the health of this area’s wildlife habitat and vegetation.
Most fires occurring in the GYA are caused by lightning, and go out by themselves before getting any bigger than the typical residential back yard. Fires in Yellowstone are managed to protect people and property, to safely and effectively use available firefighting resources, and perform their natural role on the landscape when appropriate. Yellowstone National Park works to suppress all human caused fires
Twelve of the 18 wildland fires which occurred in Yellowstone last year were caused by lightning. Only four fires grew larger than one acre in size. The 3,540 acre Cygnet Fire southwest of the Canyon area was largest fire in the park in 2012.
More information on the role of Wildland Fire in Yellowstone National Park and the park’s Fire Management Program can be found online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/wildlandfire.htm.
- www.nps.gov/yell -