In August 2000, the President directed the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to develop a response to severe wildland fires, reduce fire impacts on rural communities, and ensure sufficient firefighting capacity in the future. Congress in turn mandated implementation of a National Fire Plan (NFP) through its legislation and appropriations. The resultant NFP addresses conditions that have evolved over many decades and cannot be reversed in a single year. It is a long-term commitment based on cooperation and communication among federal agencies, states, local governments, tribes, and other interested parties.
The National Fire Plan (NFP) Web site hosted by the National Forest Service, Department of Interior, and National Association of State Foresters, documents how the federal government and state partners manage wildfire and wildfire impacts and focuses on preparedness and mitigation activities that can significantly reduce property and natural resource loss, as well as improve public safety. The site lists NFP activities in each state, provides current fire information, offers several background reports and publications, and provides individual sections covering the key points of the NFP: firefighting, rehabilitation/ restoration, hazardous fuel reduction, community assistance, and accountability.
The U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prepared this joint strategy for addressing hazardous fuels to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires on more than 180 million acres of public forests, woodlands, and rangelands. The report, Protecting People and Natural Resources: A Cohesive Fuels Treatment Strategy (60 pp.), outlines a coordinated approach to fuels treatment adopted by the five major federal land management agencies: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and USDA Forest Service. It describes practices that have worked since the agencies began collaborating on the strategy and establishes a framework for future priority-setting, accountability, and partnership to reduce the fuel buildup that leads to fires.
Firewise is a Web site created for people who live, vacation, or own structures in wildfire-prone areas. It offers on-line wildfire protection information and checklists, as well as listings of other publications, videos, and conferences. The interactive home page allows users to ask questions of fire protection experts and to register and receive further information as it becomes available.
The U.S. Geological Survey offers "theme" pages on various hazards, including wildfire. Each theme Web site provides links to other Web resources, as well as a link to a "Fact Sheet" on the given subject.
The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), in Boise, Idaho, is the nation's primary logistical support center for wildland fire suppression. The center is home to federal wildland fire experts in fields as diverse as fire ecology, fire behavior, technology, aviation, and weather. Working together and in concert with state and local agencies, NIFC's role is to provide national response to wildfire and other emergencies and to serve as a focal point for wildland fire information and technology. The NIFC Web site provides current fire information (including daily incident management situation reports, National Weather Service fire weather forecasts, and national fire news), information about and links to cooperating agencies, and other information about NIFC projects.
Persons concerned about the current wildfire situation in the United States might want to consult this U.S. Forest Service Fire and Aviation Web site, which provides up-to-date reports and news regarding current and recent wildfires, as well as the wildfire potential, across North America. The library section offers numerous downloadable publications.
The National Park Service Fire and Aviation Division prepared this presentation on fire management history. It includes a time line from 1600 to present of large fires and fatalities, operational inventions and developments, policy and law, wildland fire operations, and research, education, and public awareness.
The Web site of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, part of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction includes numerous "Forecast Products," including these "Fire Weather Forecasts/Information Pages" that provide national-scale fire weather guidance for NWS offices and other interested federal agencies dealing with wildland fire management.
The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) provides operational fire-control services, as well as management and information services to its member agencies. In addition to coordinating services for all of the provinces and territories of Canada, CIFFC often coordinates the sharing of resources with the United States and other countries. The CIFFC Web site provides the public with information about the centre and it activities. It also contains a link to FireWire, CIFFC’s online fire reporting system, which provides up-to-the-minute bulletins, situation reports, and other data, as well as other on-line information, publications lists, and an event calendar
The mission of the Canadian Forest Service’s Fire Management Network is to "increase our understanding and ability to manage wildland fires within the context of sustainable development of Canada's forests." The Web site offers information about the network and its various science programs; a directory; a publications list; a glossary of fire acronyms; information about the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System, Forest Fire Weather Index System, Forest Fire Behavior Prediction System; and other links and indices of information.
The web site of the Rocky Mountain Region Interagency Wildland Fire Communications Group provides wildfire prevention and mitigation information for homeowners, wildland fire professionals, the media, and educators. The site was developed by the fire management agencies in the Rocky Mountain Area to provide a "one-stop" fire education source for wildland fire communicators. The group's audience includes wildfire communicators and those involved in educating and informing the public about wildfire such as wildland fire educators and prevention, public affairs officers, fire information officers, wildland fire management professionals, community activists, homeowner groups, and the media.
The Northwest Fire Research Clearinghouse (FIREHouse) is a Web-based project providing data and documentation on fire science and technology relevant to Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The goal is to provide "one-stop shopping" for resource managers, decision makers, scientists, students, and communities who want access to the results of efforts to understand and manage fire and fuels on public lands in the region.
The Fire Research and Management Exchange System (FRAMES) is a virtual collaborative workspace for wildland fire managers and researchers that serves them and others through the exchange of information and tools that are essential for wildland fire and fuels management.
Part of the Forest Service's Forest Encyclopedia Network, this Encyclopedia of Southern Fire Science (ESFS) synthesizes volumes of scientific knowledge about fire science in the southern United States. ESFS delivers grounded information to field practitioners and the general public with viewer-navigated text, photos, graphics, plus a large bibliography and access to several fire science databases.
"Preparing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan: A Handbook for Wildland Urban Interface Communities" is a concise, step-by-step guide to developing a community wildfire protection plan. It addresses issues such as who to involve in developing a plan, how to involve other interested parties, what elements to consider in assessing community risks and priorities, and how to develop a mitigation or protection plan to address those risks.
The Joint Fire Science Program is a six agency partnership established to address wildland fuels issues. Participating agencies are the Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The program provides wildland fire and fuels information and tools to specialists and managers who make wildland fuels management decisions.
A browsable online version of the Glossary of Wildland Fire Terminology is available from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Incident Operations Standards Working Team (2005). This glossary provides the wildland fire and fire use communities with a single source document that covers wildland fire, prescribed fire, fire use, and incident management terminology commonly used by the NWCG and its working teams. The objective of the glossary is to help improve communication and provide consistency in terminology usage throughout organizations with a mission of wildland fire or fire use management. It will also facilitate consistent use of glossary terms in publications, course development, and incident management activities.
The Nature Conservancy launched the Global Fire Initiative to help counter threats that fire poses to global conservation. The initiative is fulfilling a leading role in restoring ecosystems where fire dynamics have changed, and recently completed a global assessment that quantifies the scale of the problem. More information about the initiative, its tactics, and its projects is available on this Web site.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued a special report examining the causes and severity of seasonal fires attributed to changes in weather patterns and human activities. The report, The Seasonal Nature of Fires, was developed by the National Fire Data Center, part of FEMA's U.S. Fire Administration. It explores fire patterns by each season of the year, including changes in incidence and causes of all types of fires.
LANDFIRE is a five-year, multipartner wildland fire, ecosystem, and fuel mapping project designed to generate consistent, comprehensive maps and data describing vegetation, fire, and fuel characteristics across the United States. The primary partners in the project are the Nature Conservancy, U.S. Geological Survey, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Fire Lab.
The California Fire Alliance provides an interagency forum for coordinating member agencies’ efforts to implement wildland fire protection planning. Their Web site features grant resources, communications plans and tools, fire planning and mapping tools, and information on community wildfire protection plans.
Colorado ’s Front Range Fuels Treatment Partnership is an interagency program that reduces wildland fire risks through fuels treatments that are economically feasible, socially acceptable, and ecologically sustainable. This Web site includes research and community links and information on community wildfire protection plans, fuels reduction, and fire education. A new report, Living with Fire: Protecting Communities and Restoring Forests—Findings and Recommendations of the Front Range Fuels Treatment Partnership Roundtable, is also available.
The International Association of Wildland Fire has compiled this list by calendar date of infamous, multiple fatality wildland fires around the world over the last 150 years.
The Global Fire Monitoring Center serves as facilitator for the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Global Wildland Fire Network and maintains this Web site with information on global fire weather and climate forecasts as well as other materials on early warnings of wildland fire.