Wildlands Fire Management: Federal Policies and Their Implications for Local Fire Departments [open pdf - 488KB]
"The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has prepared this report for fire service professionals interested in keeping abreast of developments affecting forests and wildland firefighting policies of the Federal government and the fire problem in the rapidly growing wildland/urban interface areas. This paper looks at two of the major wildfires in 1988 and the policy issues that surrounded them: the Greater Yellowstone Area fires and the '49er' fire that caused more than 20 million dollars in damage in the Gold Rush country of Nevada County, California. Through the years, U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and National Park Service (NPS) fire management policies have taken many forms. An early belief in the importance of suppressing all fires in wildlands evolved into current policies that reflect a basic belief that fire is natural to many wildlands and plays a vital role in the ecology of those lands. The Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) fires provided a crucial test under extreme conditions of NPS and USFS wildfire management policies in effect in 1988. The Interagency Fire Management Policy Review Team was formed to review fire management policies and their implementation during the 1988 fire season. The team found that fire management policies were basically sound, but many of the plans devised for individual forests, parks, and wilderness areas did not conform to national policy guidelines. They recommended that steps be taken to strengthen and ensure operational compliance with those policies."
United States Fire Administration Technical Report 045
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/