Indian Affairs | BIA Fire Articles

youtube_logofacebook logotwitter new bird logo

Forestry & Fire Management Stories



Dog Head Fire Progression Map for Success Story

June 6Fuels

Decade–old Fuels Treatments Helped Prevent Damages to Pueblo of Isleta during 2016 Dog Head Wildfire

The Dog Head Fire was first reported on June 14, 2016 in the Manzano Mountains on the Cibola National Forest in New Mexico. The fire burned for six days, had an extended six-mile crown fire, and threatened residences around the community of Chilili, New Mexico, and Pueblo of Isleta Tribal lands in central New Mexico that are adjacent to the forest. More than 11,000 acres of Federal lands and 6,600 acres of private lands were ravaged, along with 12 residences and 44 minor structures that were damaged or destroyed. However, the Pueblo of Isleta experienced limited damage to their Tribal lands as a result of a combination of fuels management treatments that had been completed more than a decade earlier. Read More...

New Firefighters at San Carlos prepare to complete applications during a 2017 job fair.


Managers & Human Resources Staff are Key to Outreach and Hiring Efforts

While numerous strategies are being taken to address hiring challenges, one successful approach that is becoming more common is hosting job outreach events.

This year, with the critical assistance of HR staff, Navajo Region (Ft. Defiance and Shiprock), Mescalero, San Carlos and Crow Agencies hosted their first outreach events. By documenting their process, successes and what not to do, HR staff is sharing that knowledge with others. Read More...

Pic - Seminole Tribe of FL Using Water and Fire to REstore Landscapes While Training Wildland FirefightersMarchFuelsSeminole Tribe of Florida is witnessing tremendous landscape changes taking place across their landscapes that have endangered their cultural practices and ways of life. Now, using a combination of fire and water, ecological and cultural balance is slowly returning. Read more...
Pic- BIA Closes Use of the Blue Book - Opens New Chapter in the Red BookFeb.OpsIt is often said by bureau and non-bureau employees that Bureau of Indian Affairs is different. While working in and for Indian Country presents its unique set of challenges and rewards, when it comes to Interagency Standards for Fire and Aviation Operations, better known as the “Red Book,” BIA is now not-so-different. Read more...
ArcGIS_BAER_Article JanuaryBAERArcGIS Collector App and Story Map Journals Making Points in the BAER  Community - Burned Area Emergency Response Teams are using new ArcGIS tools to help map and communicate plans. Read more...
4 Rights Campaign jpegOctober  Pacific Region

The 4 Rights Campaign is about using prescribed fire being at the Right Time, by the Right People, in the Right Place, as the Right Choice. Read more...

 CentralOregonEcologicalTrainingExchange picOctober Northwest Region 


The Central Oregon Ecological Training Exchange (TREX) is a two-week learning program designed to provide two-way training and learning for fire practitioners, land stewards and resource specialists from a wide variety of backgrounds and organizations. Yolanda Yallup was one student who attended the TREX training. Read more...

NWR Fuels Treatment Report PicOctober Northwest Region 

Following a devastating fire season in the Northwest in 2015, tribal and BIA staff worked in partnership to develop a Regional Fuels Assessment Report. The Report documents treatment effectiveness, limitations and offers recommendations that could provide greater opportunities to reduce risk and severity of future fires. Read more...

Northwest Region Fuels Treatment Assessment Report 2015

 2016 Archive

The Poverty Island Wildfire ignited June 26, 2016 by a lighting strike on a 200 square-acre island off Michigan’s Garden Peninsula in Lake Michigan. When the fire began threatening a historic lighthouse and associated buildings and blowing visible smoke to Michigan’s mainland, concern and public interest rose. Before fire management agencies could respond, questions about the island’s jurisdiction were pursued. Read more

Indian Country Mourns With Keweena Bay Indian Community - On the evening of August 27, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) learned two of their firefighters were killed in a catastrophic vehicle accident in Blaine, Minnesota. James F. Shelifoe, Jr and Alan J. Swartz were killed while nine the other passengers traveling in a crew carrier were injured while on their way to the Box Canyon Fire in Utah. In the days ahead, the entire wildland fire community heard about the tragedy and grieved with the KBIC. Read more...

Interns Explore Careers in Wildland Fire Management - The spring of 2016 ushered in a new chapter of workforce development for the BIA wildland fire management organization. Seven interns participated in the inaugural year of the BIA’s Pathways Student Internship Program. Read more

BIA Central Office Announces it is Standing up Three Initial Attack Type 2 (IAT2) training hand crews. Out of 22 applications, three were selected: Bay Mills Indian Community, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes and Yakama Nation. Read More

The Fourth Module of Class 9 of the National Advanced Silviculture Program (NSFP) Finishes in April at the University of Tennessee - Congratulations to Taurus Diaz, Southwest Regional Office; Richie Gardner, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; and Remington Daniels, Colville Tribes for successfully completing all four modules of this intensive advanced silviculture program! Full Article 

Great Plains Region Announces Craig Martin as the new Regional Fire Operations Specialist. Read more about him here.

 Mescalero Apache Helitack - Not Just Another Interagency Crew - When one hears “interagency”, do they think many agencies, one mission? The Bureau of Indian Affairs Mescalero Apache Helitack Crew does Full Story

 Nixon Rock Treatment and Its Effects on the 2015 Carpenter Road Fire - During the Carpenter Road Fire, the Nixon Rock fuels treatment was designed to enhance opportunities to use the Sand Creek Road and another rural road as a holding point. It was also used to minimize damages to timber and wildlife habitat. Due to the strategic placement of this treatment, over eight million board feet of timber valued at over $2.1 million was preserved. Full Story

Wildland Urban Interface Roads Treatment - The Carpenter Road Fire started August 14 on a hot, dry, windy day when firefighting resources were critically low. The fire was contained September 18 after 36 days. It burned 21,000 acres of the Spokane Reservation and an estimated 56 million board feet of commercial timber, valued at over $14 million.  Thanks to the Wildland Urban Interface Roads Treatment though, resident in the Carpenter Road area were safely evacuated. Full Story

2016 Bureau of Indian Affairs First Aid Project - The Standing Rock Agency Fire Management Program hosted a Bureau of Indian Affairs Wilderness First Responder course February 29 through February 4th, 2016, at the Grand River Casino in Mobridge, South Dakota. Twenty students attended the training, representing Tribes and Agencies from throughout the Northern Plains and Great Lakes area. This Wilderness First Responder Training provides Bureau of Indian Affairs and Tribal employees the instruction to perform skills, procedures, and administer medication for injury or sudden illness in remote locations. Full Story 

North Nespelem Fuels Treatment - The North Star Fire started on the Colville Reservation August 13, 2015. Prolonged hot weather, dry conditions and sustained winds created perfect conditions for large fire growth. Fortunately, the North Nespelem Fuels Treatment project was in place, which played a key role in protecting the community of Nespelem, Washington. Full Story.

2014 - The Navajo Interagency Hotshots were recognized for their dedication and foresight to being fully prepared to deal with medical emergencies in the field by starting (and continuing) their own EMS training program (since 2011) and for putting that emergency medical training into practice in August 2014 when two interagency hotshot crew (IHC) members were struck by a log rolling down a hill on the South Cle Elem Ridge fire in Washington State. Full Story