National Park Service Centennial

2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. As manager of nearly 80 million acres of land in parks and monuments, the Park Service understands the role of lightning in the natural environment. In many instances, lightning fires in wild areas are allowed to burn as part of the natural eco-cycle. However, the Park Service also has custody of hundreds of culturally significant buildings and structures — landmarks that must be protected against lightning and other natural hazards. Their Document NPS-28 — Cultural Resource Management Guidelines (1998), Chapter 4, requires the following:

“Because the best-managed fire is the one that didn’t happen, fire plans should stress fire prevention. Fire prevention planning should consider lightning protection systems.”

The national Park Service is also concerned about the safety of visitors. Their advice is, “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors.”