The Nature Conservancy’s Southern Rockies Wildland Fire Module spent two weeks on the front lines of the Wallow Fire, working hard to protect property and land in eastern Arizona. Their first shift on the ground was a grueling 24 hours in searing Arizona heat.
As soon as they cleared the lines, all they wanted was to find a place to sleep for a couple hours. Then, it was back to the front lines with hundreds of other crew members to face the fury of the fire.
This unique team was created by the Conservancy’s Colorado Chapter in April 2008 to help restore Colorado’s forests with safe, scientific burns. The team is also trained to help federal agencies on the front lines during wildland fires. Additionally, the Conservancy fire team provides opportunities to partner with other agencies and build credibility in forest management. Every year, team members attend a two-week training for national certification.
There are seven members. They are a mix of backgrounds, from fire and biology scientists to fire practitioners.
Their facility is located in Loveland, Colorado, about an hour north of Denver. The team gets to their assignments in a small engine, a carrier or an airplane. They have battled wildfires in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, California, Alaska and now Arizona. They’ll be in Arizona for two weeks.
Northern Arizona's Conservation Manager Sue Sitko explains how the Wallow Fire could have been worse if not for the White Mountain Stewardship Project. Read the Q&A
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A Conservancy scientist weighs in on what happened when the Wallow Fire hit treated areas of forest. Learn more