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National Park Has New Fire Management Plan

Oct. 12, 2004 – Although V.I. National Park is not normally threatened with wildfires, the park is prepared. The park recently issued its draft Fire Management Plan. Superintendent Art Frederick asked that the public review the plan and submit comments by Nov. 1.
"Just in case, we need to have a plan," spokesman Beulah Dalmida Smith said Tuesday.
Dalmida Smith said the island's humid climate helps prevent fires. Additionally, she said campfires are limited to Cinnamon Bay Campground, where it's easier to keep tabs on fires.
"Our vegetation does not lend itself to fires, and we don't allow camping in the back country," she said.
She said that the park's Fire Management Plan calls for suppressing fires to protect environmental resources as well as homes and people who live within the park or nearby.
The plan also calls for cutting down bush around buildings to prevent fires from reaching buildings.
Dalmida Smith said that although the park calls upon V.I. Fire Services to fight fires, park staff is well trained in fire fighting.
She said that rangers assigned to the St. John park have been called upon to fight fires and help with disasters at parks across the nation.
"We loaned a ranger to California," she said, speaking about a state that suffers yearly fire disasters.
Rangers are available at the park Visitor's Center in Cruz Bay to discuss the plan or call 776-6201, extension 254. Request information and submit comments to Frederick or Chief Ranger Steve Clark at 1300 Cruz Bay Creek, St. John, V.I., 00831, or by contacting Frederick at art_frederick@nps.gov

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