The National Advanced Fire and Resource Institute (NAFRI) was originally established as the National Fire Training Center at the Marana Air Park(now Pinal Air Park) in February 1967. It was created by the Washington Office, US Forest Service Fire and Aviation, to plan, develop and deliver the annual national fire management training program. In 1980 the name was changed to National Advanced Resource Technology Center (NARTC) to reflect the addition of non-fire management curriculum. The training center operated as NARTC from 1980 to 2004. In 2004 NARTC was relocated to the current training center and renamed NAFRI, the National Advanced Fire and Resource Institute.
NAFRI’s history is tied to the 1957 Fire Task Force Report ordered by the then US Forest Service Chief, Richard McArdle, in response to a series of 16 fatality fires that span the years of 1937 to 1956. 79 firefighters perished in those fires. The first was the Welcome Lake fire on the Huron National Forest and final fire was the Inaja fire on the Cleveland National Forest. One of the key recommendations on the report was the creation of a service wide “Fire Control Training Center”. The National Fire Training Center was established in 1967 at Pinal Air Park in Marana, Arizona, just north of Tucson.