National Park Service launches review into Chimney Top 2 fire

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - National Park Service launched a review of the Chimney Tops 2 fire that burned within the boundaries of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as surrounding communities. The fire forced evacuations, destroyed homes and businesses, and even killed 14 people.

The team of fire experts will focus specifically on the fire that burned within the boundaries of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They will make "recommendations on any planning, operational, or managerial issues that need to be addressed to reduce chances of a similar incident in the future."

"The team will conduct a thorough review of the actions and response to this fire, which will include compliance with policy and application of professional wildland firefighting practices," National Park Service Division of Fire and Aviation Chief Bill Kaage said. "Ultimately the purpose of the review is to identify lessons learned from this incident for use by any wildland firefighting agency."

The review is expected to take up to two weeks. From there, the the team has 45 days to submit the report for review. It will then be made public.

According to National Park Service, the Chimney Tops 2 fire review team will be made up of the following people:

  • Joe Stutler, senior advisor for Deschutes County, Oregon, will serve as the team leader. He has nearly 50 years of knowledge of fire management, behavior, and policy.
  • Fire Behavior Specialist William Grauel, Bureau of Indian Affairs – National Fire Ecologist, Boise, ID
  • Municipal Fire Department Representative Jimmy Isaacs, Boone Fire Department – Chief, Boone, NC
  • Fire Operations/Risk Management Specialist Shane Greer, U.S. Forest Service – Assistant Fire Director-Risk Management, Region 2, Golden, CO
  • NPS Fire Management Officer Mike Lewelling, Rocky Mountain National Park – Fire Management Officer, Estes Park, CO
  • Fire Operations/Risk Management Specialist/Writer/Editor Miranda Stuart, NPS Branch of Wildland Fire – Fire Management Specialist, Crawfordville, FL
  • NPS Management Liaison Tim Reid, National Park Service – Superintendent, Devils Tower National Monument, WY

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