"Wildfires can have beneficial and harmful impacts on ecosystems (e.g., by reducing fuel loads, or by damaging communities and timber resources). These impacts are generally measured and discussed based on the priorities of humans in these ecosystems. Federal resources are typically deployed during wildfire season--an annual occurrence of intense wildfire activity--to help manage wildfires and potentially minimize some of the impacts, including the loss of life and property. Approximately 4.3 million acres burned during the 2013 wildfire season, which was less than half of the 9.3 million acres burned in 2012. The acreage burned in 2012 was the third-largest acreage burned annually since 1960. Federal funding for wildfire management (WFM) is provided in the annual Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. It funds wildfire management at the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior, which are the two principal entities tasked with federal wildfire management. Federal wildfire response activities involve preparedness, suppression, fuel reduction, site rehabilitation, and more. […] This report provides WFM appropriations for the last ten years, and provides general wildfire management statistics (e.g., number of wildfires, acres burned, select state wildfire activity, firefighter personnel)."
CRS Report for Congress, R43077