Climate change is driving the devastating intersection of extreme heat, drought, and wildland fire danger across the United States, creating wildfires that move with a speed and intensity previously unseen. This has created conditions in which wildfires overwhelm response capabilities, resulting in billions of dollars in economic losses, damage to natural resources, devastation to communities, and the tragic loss of human life. The combined resources for wildland fire response across the Department of the Interior’s land management agencies — including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — and the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service include 15,000 firefighters, more than 500 helicopters, 91 single engine airtankers or SEATs, up to 34 airtankers, 360 pieces of heavy equipment, and more than 1,600 engines. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is bringing much-needed support to communities across the country to increase the resilience of lands facing the threat of wildland fires and to better support federal wildland firefighters. The law includes $1.5 billion for the Department of the Interior to invest in preparedness, fuels management, post-fire restoration, and fire science, including: $878 million for hazardous fuels management to protect vulnerable communities from wildfire while preparing natural landscapes for a changing climate. These fuels management strategies include mechanical thinning, precommercial thinning in young stands, timber harvesting, prescribed fire and installation of control locations such as fuel breaks. $325 million for post-fire restoration and rehabilitation activities that will mitigate the damaging effects of wildfires and set landscapes on a path towards natural recovery and climate resilience. $245 million in investments in wildfire preparedness, including our firefighting workforce and proactive planning on wildland fire response. The law also provides for the purchasing of equipment for early wildfire detection, real-time monitoring, and radios to support interoperability with interagency partners; financial assistance to local communities and Tribes to purchase slip-on tanks; and increases in firefighter pay and other firefighter workforce reforms. $10 million to support science and research on wildland fire management issues that mitigate wildfire risk. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s wildland fire resources provide for a more strategic approach to wildland fire management and greater support of wildland firefighters through pay increases and strengthening health and safety resources both on the job and at home. These resources also go directly to long-term fire preparedness, reducing fire risk across states, and working with partners to increase resilience on lands and communities dealing with the threat of wildfire. In addition to strengthening wildfire preparedness and mitigation resources, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also created the Biden-Harris administration Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission, charged with making recommendations to improve federal policies related to the mitigation, suppression, and management of wildland fires in the United States. The Commission released its first report in February 2023, which examined aerial firefighting equipment needs and outlined a strategy to set aviation management on a new trajectory for the next decade and beyond. Together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Interior has begun to implement a new joint wildland firefighter behavioral health program to address the unique experiences and mental challenges experienced by wildland fire personnel. Among other things, the program will establish year-round prevention and mental health training, provide post-traumatic stress care, enhance capacity for critical incident stress management, and create a new system of trauma support services with an emphasis on intervention. Resources: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Investments in Wildland Fire Management Departments of the Interior, Agriculture and Homeland Security Jointly Establish New Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission Interior Announces Plan to Implement Historic Wildland Fire Management Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Interior Department Releases Five-Year Monitoring, Maintenance and Treatment Plan to Address Wildfire Risk Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission Investing in Federal Firefighters Wildfire Preparation Photo by Shelby Fox, Bureau of Land Management. Caption Wildfire Preparation The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $1.5 billion for the Department of the Interior to invest in preparedness, fuels management, post-fire restoration, and fire science. $245 million is invested in wildfire preparedness, including workforce reforms such as compensation improvements, mental health resources, improved physical safety, hiring, and additional training; purchasing and maintaining equipment and improving fire detection methods. This funding improves pay for wildland firefighters in areas of the nation where it has been difficult to recruit and retain wildland firefights, establishing a series that recognizes wildland firefighting as a federal career and developing programs that support firefighter mental health and well-being. Fuels Management Photo by NPS. Caption Fuels Management The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $878 million for hazardous fuels management, which protects communities and landscapes by removing vegetation before it can burn in a wildfire by methods including cutting and removing or through prescribed fires. The law directs treatments to reduce the risk of fire on millions of acres near the wildland urban interface and drinking water sources. Wildfire Preparedness Photo by Joe Bradshaw, Bureau of Land Management. Caption Wildfire Preparedness Successfully managing wildland fire often requires quick and decisive actions. To respond effectively, we need personnel who are properly trained, equipped, and positioned before a fire starts. Burned Area Rehabilitation Photo by Neal Herbert, DOI. Caption Burned Area Rehabilitation $325 million will be used for post-fire restoration and rehabilitation activities. The Burned Area Rehabilitation Program supports efforts to repair or improve burned landscapes unlikely to recover without human assistance. Fire Science Photo by Neal Herbert, DOI. Caption Fire Science The law provides $10 million to support science and research on wildland fire management issues that mitigate wildfire risk. Scientific studies associated with wildland fire, fuels, and fire-impacted ecosystems respond to the emerging needs of land managers, practitioners, and policymakers.