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Field Trip: The Great Acadia Fire 70 Years Later

Fire Science and Management Field Trip - The Great Acadia Fire 70 Years Later: Lessons and Future Challenges

This highly anticipated field trip brought to you by the North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange, the Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact, the Acadia National Park Fire Management Program, the Maine Forest Service, and numerous partners and supporters is part of a larger series of events being held to commemorate the 1947 fire (see the related events below). Enjoy!

  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
    Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, ME
    This all-day field trip will follow the path of the 1947 fire and offer fire scientists and managers an excellent outdoor classroom for exchanging information about fire ecology, fuels reduction, wildfire preparedness, and other lessons and challenges learned in 1947 and the seven decades since that catastrophe. Cost: $25


Additional Events Commemorating the 1947 Fire

Join us for a series of events commemorating the 1947 fires that affected Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park and changed the way we prepare for wildfire today. 

Click here for the flyer to share!

WEBINAR: The Years Maine Burned - Fire History and Geography in the North Atlantic

  • Wednesday, September 20, 2017 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
    Lloyd Irland presented information on the changing geography of fire in the Northern Forest, with a focus on the 1947 fire season in Maine and other landmark events. Irland addressed extreme fire behavior, the relationship between fire danger and the growing wildland-urban interface, and other factors in the megafires of the North Atlantic. Dr. Bill Patterson also presented some of his findings. WATCH WEBINAR RECORDING HERE.


    WORKSHOP: Climate and Disturbance Scenario Planning in Acadia National Park

    • Monday, October 16, 2017, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
      Schoodic Institute, Acadia Drive, Winter Harbor, ME
      This workshop will bring together scientists and natural resource managers to articulate plausible scenarios for future disturbance regimes in Acadia National Park to inform future risk assessments and management plans, and provide a foundation for collaborative dialogue. Limited space available. Please contact: Abe Miller-Rushing at (207) 288-8733 if you are interested in attending.

    WALK: Bar Harbor History Walk

    • Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
      Bar Harbor Historical Society, 33 Ledgelawn Avenue, Bar Harbor, ME
      Bar Harbor Fire Station, 37 Firefly Lane, Bar Harbor, ME
      YMCA Baseball Field, School and Park Streets, Bar Harbor, ME
      Visit historical and modern firefighting equipment and displays on wildfire history, science, and planning at the Bar Harbor Fire Station and nearby baseball field, and explore historic records and artifacts from the 1947 fire at the Bar Harbor Historical Society. Cost: Free

    PANEL: The Great Acadia Fire 70 Years Later: What Happened? Could it Happen Again? What if it Happened Again?

    • Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
      The Criterion Theatre, 35 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor, ME
      This evening lecture and discussion will examine the climate and forest conditions that were ignited in 1947, the vegetation structure and fire danger in Acadia National Park today, and the agencies and organizations prepared to protect the island from wildfire into the future. Cost: $10 Tickets available at: 

      This event has been approved for 2.0 Category 1 CFE credits by the Society of American Foresters.

      Panel Speakers:

    Dr. Lloyd Irland, Principal, The Irland Group
    Dr. Bill Patterson III, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
    Tony Davis, North Country Fire Management Officer, Acadia National Park
    Bill Hamilton, Chief Forest Ranger, Maine Forest Service
    Tom Parent, Executive Director, Northeast Forest Fire Protection Compact
    Matt Bartlett, Fire Chief, Bar Harbor Fire Department
    Mike Bender, Fire Chief, Mt. Desert Fire Department
    Keith Higgins, Fire Chief, Tremont Fire Department
    Jack Martel, Fire Chief, Southwest Harbor Fire Department

    FILM: Fire of ’47 Documentary Premeire

    • Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 7PM
      The Criterion Theatre, 35 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor, ME
      Join us for the world premiere of a film about the 1947 fire in Bar Harbor as seen through the eyes of survivors of the fire. This film, produced by the Bar Harbor Historical Society, features fresh interviews and color footage of the October 1947 events. Cost: $10 CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TICKETS to this event.

    Interested in learning more about the 1947 wildfire season in Acadia, Maine, and beyond?

    For more information, check out, a resource offered by the Northeast Forest Fire Protection Compact Training Working Team.

    Lodging Options
    Lodging costs are not included in field trip registration. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Blue Nose Inn for $119/night + tax at the government rate for the nights of 10/16, 10/17, and 10/18. When making your reservation, please state that you are with the Northeast Compact group. Contact the Blue Nose Inn at or (207) 288-3348. The room block is available until September 25.

    Additionally, camping options are available within Acadia National Park and at nearby campgrounds, as well as numerous other lodging options in Bar Harbor and Ellsworth

    Hosted by NAFSE and NFPPC

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