The Vision

In 2009, Congress passed the Federal Land Assistance and Enhancement Act (FLAME Act), which directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) to develop a national cohesive wildland fire management strategy to comprehensively address wildland fire management in the United States. Under the direction of the intergovernmental Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC), the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy effort (Cohesive Strategy) was initiated in 2010 through a three-phased approach to intergovernmental planning, risk analysis, and collaboration by federal, state, local and tribal governments and non-governmental partners and public stakeholders. The phased approach allowed systematic and thorough engagement by stakeholders throughout the effort. Each phase included milestones that serve as the building blocks for subsequent steps. This report, the National Wildland Fire Management Risk Analysis and Cohesive Strategy (National Strategy), represents the culmination of all three phases of the Cohesive Strategy effort.

The National Strategy embraces fire as a natural process necessary for the maintenance of many ecosystems, and strives to reduce conflicts between fire-prone landscapes and people. By simultaneously considering the role of fire in the landscape, the ability of humans to plan for and adapt to living with fire, and the need to be prepared to respond to fire when it occurs, the Cohesive Strategy takes a holistic approach to the future of wildland fire management.

The Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC) adopted the following vision for the next century:

To safely and effectively extinguish fire, when needed; use fire where allowable; manage our natural resources; and as a nation, live with wildland fire.
The three primary, national goals identified as necessary to achieving the vision are:
Restore and maintain landscapes: Landscapes across all jurisdictions are resilient to fire-related disturbances in accordance with management objectives.
Fire adapted communities: Human populations and infrastructure can withstand a wildfire without loss of life and property.
Wildfire response: All jurisdictions participate in making and implementing safe, effective, efficient risk-based wildfire management decisions.

National Science Analysis Team - Phase III Contributors

The National Science and Analysis Team is led by Danny C. Lee (USDA Forest Service) and Thomas M. Quigley (METI Corporation) and included over sixty individuals from various agencies, organizations and universities (see Phase II report).

The national analysis described in this report was completed by a small team from the NSAT using much of the information assembled and prepared previously by the NSAT. In addition to Drs. Lee and Quigley, the national analysis team included Steve Norman and William Christie from the USDA Forest Service, and James Fox, Karin Rogers, and Matthew Hutchins from the University of North Carolina – Asheville.

In addition the NSAT, a national science advisory committee was assembled to support the NSAT in completing the national analysis. The members of that committee included Douglas Macdonald (IAFC and WRSC), Paige Lewis (TNC), Mike Zupko (SE RSC), Brad Simpkins (NE RSC), Caitlyn Pollihan (States), Dan Olsen (FS), and Jenna Sloan (DOI).