USFWS / NCFS Partnership Benefits Eastern NC Communities

Posted By on July 25, 2016

Fire Officials from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the NC Forest Service met this morning to transfer a Marshmaster owned by Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge to the State for use in fire management. 

A Marshmaster is a piece of heavy equipment specialized to work well in wetands.  The NC Forest Service is the agency responsible for fire suppression on private lands in North Carolina, as well as on the Dare County Range (owned by Department of Defense). 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for fire suppression, as well as general fire manangement, on national wildlife refuges.  Recognizing that fires, like wildlife, don’t recognize property boundaries, the USFWS and NCFS have formed a solid and reliable partnership when it comes to fighting fire.  The long-term loan of this specialized equipment is just one example of the many ways these agencies work together to benefit our neighbors in eastern North Carolina.

This Marshmaster will be used both for fire suppression and to manage prescribed fires.

NCFS District Forester John Cook and Dare County Ranger Jonathan Ambrose accepted the Marshmaster on behalf of the NC Forest Service.  Cook said, “The addition of this Marshmaster to our fleet of firefighting equipment should really imrpove response time for wildfires and increase our ability to do prescribed burns.”  The Marshmaster will be stationed at the NCFS station near the Manteo Airport.  

Ambrose added, “Marsh fires are fast-moving fires.  This Marshmaster will be especially helpful in protecting life and property near wetlands.”

“Eastern North Carolina contains much wetland habitat.  The usefulness of standard firefighting equipment like dozers is limited here.  With the State having this Marshmaster, that makes two available to them to use.  On refuges, we have one on Alligator River, one on Pocosin, one on Mattamuskeet, and one on Mackay Island.  That brings the total to six Marshmasters in this part of the State,”  said Fire Management Officer Bert Plante.  “We’re all really glad this worked out, as it will provide depth in our ability to manage fires in eastern North Carolina.” 

caption:  Fire Management Officer Bert Plante and Assistant Fire Operations Specialist Donnie Harris delivered the Marshmaster to the NCFS station today.  NCFS District Forester John Cook and County Ranger Jonathan Ambrose were on-hand to accept the special delivery!

USFWS / NCFS Marshmaster (photo by Bonnie Strawser/USFWS)

USFWS / NCFS Marshmaster (photo by Bonnie Strawser/USFWS)

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Posted by Matt Artz

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