NPS -- Rural Fire Assistance


Rocky Mountain National Park is distributing new wild land firefighting equipment to four bordering volunteer fire departments - Estes Park, Glen Haven, Allenspark and Grand Lake. The value of the firefighting equipment totals $32,500.

Of the 378 units of the National Park Service, at least 245 experience wild land fires either originating within the unit, or igniting outside and threatening the park. At Rocky Mountain National Park assistance from adjacent volunteer fire departments is vital. Historically, the National Park Service has had no funding capability to assist small rural fire departments. However, appropriations were made in 2001, which enables the National Park Service to formalize and significantly advance the Rural Fire Assistance Program. According to Jesse Duhnkrack, Fire Management Officer at Rocky Mountain National Park, "The Rural Fire Assistance program is a new program primarily designed to increase firefighter safety, enhance the fire protection capabilities of rural fire departments and assist surrounding communities. Equipment that the National Park Service is distributing to our neighboring volunteer fire departments includes personal protective equipment such as nomex shirts, gloves, helmets, training fire shelters and goggles as well as hand tools and fire hoses and fittings."

The Estes Park and Glen Haven Volunteer Fire Departments each received equipment valuing $10,000 and the Allenspark and Grand Lake Volunteer Fire Departments each received equipment valuing $6,250. Criteria for distribution of equipment included size of staff, fire frequency and specific needs.

Kyle Patterson
Public Information Officer/Management Assistant
Rocky Mountain National Park

Photo by Karl Snyder

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