Monday, May 23, 2016

National Leaders Meet and Commit to Cohesive Strategy

Photos: Shawn Stokes

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell led a discussion last week with federal firefighting agencies at the White House regarding the increasing danger to communities in wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas as fire seasons become hotter, drier and longer. Jewell also highlighted the need for greater collaborative action to enhance community resilience against these risks and strengthen federal firefighter safety and preparedness. 

In her remarks Secretary Jewell emphasized the importance of cooperative relationships and collaboration at all levels to mitigate wildfire risk, increase firefighter safety and identify further policy actions needed to enhance community resilience within the WUI. She added that the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy provides a strategic roadmap for working together – across federal, tribal, state and local governments and with non-governmental organization (NGO) partners – to manage fire-prone lands; protect the nation's natural, tribal and cultural resources; and make communities safe and resilient for future generations.   

Read full DOI release here.  

The White House also released a Fact Sheet in which leaders from over 39 agencies and jurisdictions have committed to a multi-scale, collaborative approach to address the challenges posed by wildfire in the wildland-urban interface and to the following statement:

As Federal, State, local, tribal and non-Government leaders, we recognize the challenges of managing fire in the wildland-urban interface, including the increased complexity of fire response, air quality and public health impacts, and loss of community infrastructure and cultural resources.  The consequences of a changing climate intensify these challenges, resulting in more severe wildfires threatening the well-being of our communities, and jeopardizing the safety of our first responders and the public they serve.
We are committed to safely and effectively extinguishing fire, when needed; using fire where allowable; managing our natural resources; and as a Nation, living with wildland fire safely.  We are committed to advancing community resilience in the wildland-urban interface, managing the adjacent landscapes wisely, and continuing to improve the efficiency of wildland fire response.  We are committed to a multi-scale, collaborative approach to address the challenges posed by wildfire in the wildland-urban interface. 


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