The foundation of our wildfire response lies in a network of air tanker bases, crew quarters, emergency dispatch centers, and other buildings that provide a home for firefighters, support staff, and their equipment. The Facilities Program funds construction and maintenance work throughout the Department of the Interior.
After working out of scattered trailers, modular buildings, and a repurposed pole barn for many years, fire personnel at Lake Mead National Recreation Area moved into a new facility in May 2019. (T. Downes, National Park Service)
$18.4 million: money allocated to this program in Fiscal Year 2021
10: projects funded in Fiscal Year 2021
19: projects completed in Fiscal Year 2021
Every year staff in the bureaus that manage wildland fire (Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) prioritize their shared wildland fire facility needs and develop a maintenance and capital improvement plan. The plan brings together the competing priorities within the bureaus. The final plan lists the projects in priority order, focusing on critical health and safety, public safety and resource protection, achieving sustainability goals, and decreasing long-term operation and maintenance costs.
Staff in the Office of Wildland Fire help craft the annual budget justification and track the money spent on approved projects.