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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Wildland Fire
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Wildland Fire Management Preparedness



Preparedness is the result of activities that are planned and implemented prior to wildland fire ignitions. Preparedness is a continuous process that includes developing and maintaining unit, state/regional, and national level firefighting infrastructure, predicting fire activity, hiring, training, equipping, and deploying firefighters, evaluating performance, correcting deficiencies, and improving overall operations. The preparedness process includes routine pre-season actions as well as incremental in-season actions conducted in response to increasing fire danger.  

The goal of the Wildland Fire Management Preparedness program is to achieve both a cost efficient and technically effective fire management program that meets resource and safety objectives, while minimizing both costs of suppression and damages to resources.  

DOI's mission includes protection of property and resources from the detrimental effects of wildland fires while providing for firefighter and public safety. The Department's agencies carry out Wildland Fire Management responsibilities in national parks, wildlife refuges and preserves, Indian reservations, and on BLM public lands. These diverse lands include historic and cultural sites, commercial forests, rangelands, and valuable wildlife habitat, as well as some lands managed by other Federal and State agencies. Fire prevention and suppression are provided by Federal fire crews and through cooperative protection agreements, and contracts with Federal and State agencies, and self-governing Tribes.  

East Basin drip torchTo accomplish this mission, the DOI bureaus fund Preparedness activities on more than 500 million acres of public lands. The bureaus enter into cooperative agreements with other Federal agencies as well as State, tribal, and local governments to leverage resources and gain efficiency. Under these arrangements, protection responsibilities are exchanged and resources shared.  

All Wildland Fire Management activities within the Department are guided by fire management plans that cover planned contributions for interagency-shared resources, training, prevention and detection, as well as the appropriate response to wildland fire to meet land use plan objectives. Fire Management Plans provide the basis for wildland fire preparedness staffing and equipment. Bureaus historically have focused on the internal needs of each land management unit for fire program management and initial attack suppression readiness. As the bureaus continue implementing the Fire Program Analysis (FPA) system, readiness resource needs will be determined on an interagency basis across each fire planning unit.  

Readiness resources are currently deployed in advance of fire emergencies based on analysis of historic needs and those predicted for the coming fire season to ensure the DOI bureaus are ready to respond when fires occur. In addition to the program's permanent, career seasonal and temporary firefighters/employees, program management resources include permanent and career seasonal professional and technical personnel who provide leadership, coordination, program planning, dispatching, warehouse, and other support functions along with technical and administrative support for fire and aviation management.  

Program resources include unit-level requirements, plus national shared resources such as hotshot crews that are available for fires on Federal lands regardless of ownership. Economically efficient fire management requires that the bureaus pool their resources to provide these national shared resources, which are collectively identified in the readiness process. Such resources include air tankers and retardant bases, lead planes, hotshot crews, smokejumpers, large transport planes, and fire weather technical support.

Wildland Fire Management Preparedness Point of Contact:
Rod Bloms, Fire Operations Specialist