Archeological resources that are historic properties (and are eligible or are listed on the National Register of Historic Places) and have the potential to be detrimentally impacted by fire must be considered when planning and executing fire-related activities. Activities such as wildfire management and suppression, prescribed burns, non-fire fuel reduction, and burned area emergency rehabilitation have the potential to damage or destroy archeological resources, or make the resources more vulnerable to looting. It is essential that archeologists work closely with park superintendents and fire management programs to ensure consideration of archeological resources before, during, and after fire activities.
This module of the NPS Archeology Hand book provides guidance for park personnel who are responsible for archeological resources that may be affected by fires. The park superintendent ensures that archeological resource management is integrated with park fire management operations. Archeologists and the NHPA Coordinator assist the superintendent in carrying out these responsibilities.
This guidance is organized according to the sequence of fire-related activities: Preparing for Fire, which focuses on training and professional qualifications; Planning for Fire, which addresses archeologists’ role in development of fire management protocols, including Fire Management Plans and Fuel Reduction Plans; During a Fire, which provides guidance for archeologists in assisting with wildfire control; After a Fire, which focuses on rehabilitation; and Fire Research, information about conducting, funding, and accessing research on fire effects on archeological resources.