Hall of Flame Museum looks at firefighting: past and present

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Wildfire season is already heating up in our state. In fact fire restrictions are already in effect at several Arizona national forests.

Many people don't know that there's a museum in Phoenix that offers the public a glimpse at some of the gear worn and used by firefighters who battle wildfires.

The Hall of Flame Fire Museum and the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes has almost an acre of fire history exhibits, with over 90 fully restored pieces of fire apparatus on display, dating from 1725 to 1969.

There's also plenty of equipment on display that shows what firefighters are using to fight fires in current times.

"It's a nice exhibit," says curator Mark Moorhead. "And it can only get bigger, since as time goes on, unfortunately, wildland firefighting is just going to become a bigger and bigger issue in our society."

Most of the exhibits are American, but the museum also features pieces from England, France, Austria, Germany, and Japan.

"We do have some really cool displays about the men and women who really fight a force of nature when they fight a fire," says Moorhead. "Brave and courageous as you really have to be to fight a fire in a house or a building, you've really got to be about 20 times more so to fight these wildland fires. It's like fighting the tide or something like that."

The Hall of Flame also sponsors the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, which honors firefighters who have died in the line of duty or who have been decorated for heroism. The Hall includes a gallery dedicated to the history of wildland firefighting in the United States.

"We really owe those folks a debt of gratitude," says Moorhead. "We're glad to kind of present some of their stories here at the museum."

The museum also offers a great experience for kids. Children can dress up in firefighter uniforms, and get some hands-on learning about what firefighters do.

There's also a "safety house" set up, where kids can learn about all the potential hazards around the home, like bare outlets and frayed electrical cords.

Hall of Flame Fire Museum
6101 East Van Buren St. (Priest & Van Buren)
Phoenix, AZ 85008

Hours and General Admission
Monday: Saturday, 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 12pm - 4pm

Adults: $7.00
Seniors (62+): $6.00
Students (6 -17): $5.00
Children (3 - 5): $2.50
Children under 3 and Members: Free

To learn more visit: www.hallofflame.org

To find out fire information, here are some resources:

Arizona Fire Restrictions: http://firerestrictions.us/az/ 

Arizona Fire Prevention & Information (fire restrictions & red flag alerts): http://wildlandfire.az.gov/ 

Fire Restrictions on Public Lands in Arizona and New Mexico: Call 1-877-864-6985

Coconino National Forest - www.fs.usda.gov/coconino
Kaibab National Forest - www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
Prescott National Forest - www.fs.usda.gov/prescott
Tonto National Forest - www.fs.usda.gov/tonto