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FIRE (Management)!


FIRE (Management)! By: Bradley Ellis Alexandra Mouche Patrick Noonan Joel Singley History of Forest Fires in The United States : Fire as a tool Forest and rangeland ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: FIRE (Management)!

FIRE (Management)!
  • By
  • Bradley Ellis
  • Alexandra Mouche
  • Patrick Noonan
  • Joel Singley

History of Forest Fires in The United States
Fire as a tool
  • Forest and rangeland fire was once a common land
    management tool. Native Americans as well as
    early settlers and prospectors used fire for
    various purposes. But as the country gradually
    filled with more settlers, and as forest
    resources became more precious, fire began to be
    viewed as more of a problem than a tool.

History of Politics
  • Responsibility of Dept of Interior and U.S. Army
  • 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt transferred
    responsibility for wildfire suppression to the
    U.S. Department of Agriculture's Bureau of
    Forestry, which soon became the U.S. Forest
    Service, headed by his friend Gifford Pinchot.
  • Watershed protection and timber supply a main

History of Acts and Policy
  • 1911 - The Weeks Act
  • 1924 - Clarke-McNary Act
  • 1933 The New Deal
  • 1935 - The 10 AM policy
  • 1960 - Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act
  • 1964 - Wilderness Act
  • 1970 - National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • 1971 - 10 AM policy amended
  • 1972 - Wilderness Prescribed Natural Fire Program
  • 1978 -10 AM policy scrapped and eliminated
    emergency funding f
  • 1979 - National Fire Management Analysis System
  • 1995 - Federal Wild land Fire Management Policy
  • 2002 - National Fire Plan
  • 2003 - Healthy Forest Restoration Act

Social landscape
  • Perception and Government responsibility
  • Current status
  • Community movements
  • Adoption of Community Wildfire Protection Plan
  • Risk
  • Serious Certain Soon
  • Key Players in the social realm
  • Constraints?
  • Credibility and Capacity?
  • The Limiting Factor?

Current Fire Policy
  • The National Fire Plan
  • Developed in 2000 following a landmark season
  • Design with the intent of actively responding to
    severe wildland fires and their impacts to
    communities while ensuring sufficient
    firefighting capacity for the future
  • Departure from historical management practices
  • Increased understanding of ecology
  • Feedback on the results of policy decisions
  • Changing perceptions of fire

The National Fire Plan
  • Primarily USDA Forest Service and Department of
  • Five Key Points
  • Firefighting
  • Rehabilitation
  • Community Assistance
  • Accountability
  • Hazardous Fuels Reduction
  • Implementation
  • Provides technology, funding, guidance, and
  • National resources and personnel
  • Multi-level involvement and responsibility
  • Policy is proactive and reactive
  • Intensive monitoring program

Healthy Forests Initiative
  • Launched in August 2000
  • Could cover about 20,000,000 acres
  • To protect against unnaturally destructive fires
  • Supposed to speed up hazardous fuels reduction
    and improve quality public lands (read reduced
  • Ten to fifteen page limit each EIS
  • Increased exclusion guidelines
  • Decentralized oversight
  • Preemptive
  • Encourages research and early public input

An Insiders Perspective
  • Dan Smith
  • National Fire Director for the National
    Association of State Foresters (NASF) and
    representative to the National Interagency Fire
    Center (NIFC)
  • NASF
  • Protection and management of private and state
  • Cross sector coordination and representation
  • Resource (education, policy, advocacy, etc)
  • NIFC
  • Improved Response through communication and
    resource sharing
  • Daily monitoring and adaptation
  • Federal resource management

An Insiders Perspective (cont.)
  • Working within the National Fire Plan
  • Responsibility and resource sharing
  • Hierarchies of representation
  • Current Problems and Contradictions
  • Protection through budget cuts (58)
  • Increasing wildland-urban interface demands on
  • Barriers to fuel mitigation (NEPA)
  • Environmental quality continues to decline

From Scientists
  • Provide an unbiased scientific analysis based on
    research and professional experience
  • Investigate the methodologies, findings, and
    conclusions provided by researchers
  • Provide a range of alternatives, convey risks and
    uncertainties, and recommendations to decision

To the Decision Makers
  • Utilize the scientists information
  • Many disciplines wildlife, soils, hydrology,
    silviculturists, fisheries, social scientists and
  • Determine the trade-offs
  • Make the decision

Bridging the Gap
  • Effective partnerships occur when direct
    interaction takes place between people at
    multiple stages, adequate time is allowed for
    partnership building, partners are rewarded and
    held accountable for their roles, and when
    dedicated individuals are identified and
    cultivated.-Seth M. White

Interview with Silviculturist at Clearwater
National Forest
  • Vegetation Restoration/Management, Silviculture
  • Single largest obstacle facing fire management in
    the future is the wildland/urban interface and
    lack of funding to treat fuels in these areas
  • Policies need to be flexible and adaptable.
    What was successful in the past may not be in the
    future. I think policies should not prescribe a
    "one size fits all approach" as ecosystems are
    varied across the nation. Adaptive and active
    management will maintain our ability to deal with
    uncertainty into the future -Beverly Yelczyn

San Diego 2007
  • Of the major wildfires in October of 2007, the
    two largest were in San Diego
  • Witch Creek burned North and Northeast of San
  • Harris burned northwest from the Mexico border
    towards San Diego
  • Hundreds of thousands were subject to mixed
    responses, including mandatory and voluntary
    evacuation notices
  • By October, more people had been evacutated in SD
    County than had been in Louisiana during
    Hurricane Katrina

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San Diego 2007
  • After only two days, almost 500,000 people were
    evacuated from their homes under mandatory orders
  • Many Businesses and all local schools and
    colleges closed down during the fire
  • The mayor asked residents to stay in their homes
    to keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles
  • Many roads were closed due to impassability from
    smoke and fire

San Diego Response
  • Government and volunteer agencies worked together
  • FEMA organized the disbursement of relief
    supplies to victims
  • Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT teams)
    got their first activation since inception of the
    program in 1987
  • The Department of Defense mobilized the National
    Guard, Marines, and NAVY to assist in containing
    the fires
  • Governor Schwarzenegger called upon the Blue
    Ribbon Task Force, generated after 2003 fires, to
    reassess policy needs for the prevention of
    future disasters

Legal Outlook
  • The fires are increasing insurance and consulting
  • There seems to be little legal input into the
    fire policy after the Governators Blue Ribbon
    Task Force
  • Fires have been profitable, in a sense, but they
    have also forced firms to close for days at a
    time when the fires are out of control