Quiet Season, for Homestead National Monument Red Card Firefighters

BEATRICE –  As wildfires continue in some western states, two red-card trained firefighters at the Homestead National Monument of America have not been called out to assist, this season.

:09                  “if we can”

Monument Superintendent Mark Engler says a busy schedule of events this year associated with the National Park Service Centennial and the Homestead’s 80th birthday observance, meant that qualified local firefighters were not placed on a list to help fight western wildfires.

:09                  “planned for the park”

In past years, National monument personnel have helped with firefighting duty in other states.

:15                  “prescribed fire”

Each year, a portion of the prairie is burned at the monument west of Beatrice, to allow native plant species to regenerate and control unwanted plants.  Engler says no additional controlled burns are planned through the end of this year.

Officials say a Northern California wildfire that has charred about 2 square miles burned close to The Geysers geothermal facility, forcing the evacuation of one of the plants.  The cause of the fire about 85 miles north of San Francisco is under investigation. About 90 people in three dozen homes were under evacuation orders or advisories Monday.

The Predictive Services National Interagency Fire Center notes that September is typically a month of significant change in fire conditions, especially across the northern tier of the United States.

Days shorten, cutting the amount of solar radiation to dry and heat fuels.  Also, longer nights are cooler with generally higher humidity. Those conditions slowly reduce fire activity and typically end normal fire season activity throughout the month.