Arkansas Fire Team in Africa
Arkanas team in Zambia Arkansas staff leads prescribed fire workshop in Zambia © The Nature Conservancy Arkansas

Stories in Arkansas


Sharing Fire Management Practices with Partners in Africa.

From Arkansas to Africa

Fire Management Coordinator Kyle Lapham was busy packing his gear just days before the flight to Zambia when he to the message. The people he was going to traing in prescribed fire needed equipment.

Access to proper instruments and protective gear is one of the many challenges of managing fire in Zambia's vast grasslands, where the Conservancy's Arkansas fire team has been helping train national park rangers and safari lodge operators since 2010. Kyle was already bringing some equipment for them, but the additional items weren't in the budget. 

That's when James and Laurie Bibler of Russellville stepped in. James had attended a reception for Zambian and Colombian partners wo were touring Arkansas to see how prescribed fire is done in the state. He and Laurie have enjoyed many wildlife trips to Africa, so when they learned of the Zambian partners' wish list, they decided it was the perfect opportunity to give back to the people who keep African wildlands healthy.

James said "As a third generation lumberman and an avid hunter, I've spent a lot more time outdoors all over the world. I appreciate how The Nature Conservancy works with partners at home and abroad to protect wildlife habitat and the natural resources we all depend on."

Thanks to a generous gift from the Biblers, Kyle was able to fill his bags wil protective jumpsuits, breathing protectors, headlamps, a GPC device, weather meter and other gear to outfit Kafue National Park's fire crew.