Yosemite National Park fire videos

The National Park Service has produced two excellent videos about fire management in Yosemite National Park in California. They are professional quality and rival any of the slick productions you see on broadcast television.

One is titled Best Intentions and gives an overall view of prescribed fire in the park. It is supposed to be 26 minutes long, but while watching it on the park’s web site it abruptly stopped at the 15 minute mark, in the middle of Fuels Specialist Mike Beasley’s interview, which is a shame because Mike is a former co-worker and I was looking forward to seeing his presentation. It is possible to download the entire 48 MB Quicktime video and watch it on your own computer, which would be a work-around for the 15-minute cutoff.

Frame from Best Intentions, NPS video
Frame from Best Intentions, NPS video

The other video is called Restoring a Meadow and is 7 minutes long. It is about removing non-native blackberry and the use of prescribed fire as one of the tools to accomplish that objective.  The most interesting part of the video is how they ignite the prescribed fire without using any matches, fusees, accelerants, or drip torches.

Frame from Restoring a Meadow, NPS video
Frame from Restoring a Meadow, NPS video

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

2 thoughts on “Yosemite National Park fire videos”

  1. Great videos presenting the role of fire in the Yosemite ecosystem. Having been involved in a Yosemite NP fire use IMT in 2006 I fully support the science and the process. All the wonderful videos and PR programs will be wasted efforts to truely educate the American public if any fire agency allows a natural ignition or human ignited RxB to burn during severe drought conditions. There are acceptable fire management risks and there are poor risk management choices. I hope that the Yosemite NP fire staff learned some RxB PR fupahs and expensive lessons in 2009. Best of luck in 2010.

    1. When looking for the ‘lessons learned’, it may not matter whether the ignition operation’s objectives were management or suppression based. What counts is the perception of those who have entrusterd us to make decisions scaled to conditions. Saddler, Lowden and Cerro Grande were the wake-up calls. To deny those lessons undermines our credibility and we are relegated to rationalizing the absurd. I think it was Chief John Hawkins who said, “Hoping for the best is not an actual plan”. The burn plan is not a mandate. FIRBs must be intuitive and exercise experience-based instinct.

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