5th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology and the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress

Monday, 17 November 2003: 11:00 AM
Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy—Interagency Implementation Direction
Mark Beighley, USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC; and T. Zimmerman
The 1995 Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy established the first interagency and inter-departmental federal fire policy. As implementation of this policy proceeded, certain inconsistencies in implementation occurred. Following the 2000 fire season, a review of the policy was completed and presented in the 2001 Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy Review and Update. The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) chartered a work group, including State perspectives and participation, to develop a strategy for implementing the 2001 recommendations, policy statements, and direction. The strategy has been approved by the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC), contains wildland fire policy information, action items, implementation recommendations, the policy implementation flowchart, and a glossary of all critical terms. It also presents a review of the 2001 guiding principles, establishes objectives and measures for the principles, and provides a broader background paper on the history and purpose of the fire policy.

This paper describes the essential elements of the Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy, compares 1995 and 2001 policy statements, and defines evolving terminology and procedures. It clarifies implementation strategy information contained in the Interagency Direction for the Implementation of the Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy and outlines how policy guides plans, procedures, decisions, and actions in the high-risk, high-consequence, and, often, uncertain environment that surrounds fire suppression and fire use operations to achieve safer, more cost-effective operations responsive to ecological dynamics influencing the health and resilience of this country’s fire-adapted wildlands.

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