The Wildland Fire Management Suppression Operations activity funds the emergency and unpredictable aspects of the Department's Wildland Fire Management program. Suppression Operations include a range of actions taken to manage wildland fires in a safe, cost-effective manner, while protecting values at risk in a manner consistent with resource objectives and land management plans.
Some of the conditions that contribute to the number of wildland fire ignitions include climate change and drought, the proliferation of highly combustible invasive species in arid ecosystems, and excessive hazardous fuel accumulations from decades of fire suppression. The Department strives to achieve a technically effective fire management program that meets resource and safety objectives, while minimizing both the cost of suppression and damage to resources. Although the intent is to minimize the number of unplanned and unwanted wildland fires, thousands still occur each year. When they do, an aggressive response is mounted to ensure that risks to safety and damage to property are minimized.
Suppression management actions range from intensive suppression of wildfires on public lands threatening communities, high value resources, or critical ecosystems, to monitoring wildfires in areas in which burning accomplishes resource benefits or where it is too dangerous to place firefighters. Emergency actions are taken during and immediately following a wildfire to reduce the effects of floods, landslides, and erosion by stabilizing stream banks and soils to reduce further resource damage. Emergency stabilization actions may be performed within one year of containment of the wildfire, and monitored for up to three years after containment.
Suppression costs include expenses incurred by fireline, command, and support personnel above those costs covered by preparedness, as well as those for temporary emergency firefighter personnel, aircraft flight operations, aircraft ramp support, logistical services, supplies, equipment (including replacement of lost or damaged capital and expendable equipment), contracts for goods and services, administrative support directly associated with incidents, and immediate measures to repair damage as a result of fire suppression activities.
Severity funding, which provides extra preparedness resources in above-normal or extreme conditions, is included in Suppression Operations. Severity funding is used to improve initial response capabilities when abnormal, severe wildfire conditions occur. Abnormal wildfire conditions arise when wildfire seasons start earlier than normal, last longer than normal, or exceed average high fire danger ratings for prolonged periods.
Suppresion Operations Point of Contact:
Rod Bloms, Fire Operations Specialist