Fire Archaeology: Heritage, Cultural and Tribal Resources and Wildland Fire Suppression

A talk by Paul Claeyssens

Part of the 2021 Archaeology Roadshow


Did you know archaeologists are called to duty to assist with identifying and protecting cultural and tribal resources on wildfire incidents? Aside from specialized fire training and fitness requirements, the skills of a field archaeologist are put to a “test by fire”. Paul has been involved with wildland fire since the mid-1980s, serving on numerous assignments as a resource advisor (READ) and Archaeologist (ARCH) in the Southwest, California, and the Pacific Northwest. In addition, he has served on Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams, served as a lead Resource Advisor on large wildfires and supervised fire-line rehab on Type 1-3 Incidents.

Biographical Information
Paul Claeyssens (M.S) was an archaeologist for most of his 37-year career with the US Forest Service. He retired in December 2016 after providing cultural resource, historic preservation and tribal consultation services to Forest Service and other federal and state agencies throughout the west, but primarily in Oregon, Washington and California. He is currently Senior Archaeologist/Principal Investigator with the Heritage Stewardship Group and a Board member of the Archaeological Society of Central Oregon and the Deschutes County Historical Society.