Manage and fight wildfires to protect lives, communities, and resources.
Wildfire response can affect likelihood and intensity. Explore your community’s risk.
About Wildfire Response
Wildfire response in the United States is extremely successful, with the vast majority of wildfires contained and extinguished upon initial attack. Extensive coordination and resources at the local, state, and federal level are required to safely and effectively suppress wildfires.
Firefighter and public safety is the first priority in every fire management activity according to the Federal Wildland Fire Policy. Safe, effective, and efficient wildfire response is one of three goals under the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy. As wildfires grow in frequency and size, responding will increasingly rely on organization, communication, and risk-based management tools.
Community Mitigation Assistance Team (CMAT)
Community Mitigation Assistance Teams are a national interagency resource designed to work collaboratively with local partners to build sustainable mitigation programs focused on community fire adaptation actions on the ground. A CMAT works with communities at high risk of wildfire to analyze their mitigation programs and barriers, develop workable solutions to help move mitigation forward, share best mitigation practices for achieving outcomes, and build successful partnerships.
Federal Excess Personal Property Program & Firefighter Property Program
The Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP) program loans Forest Service-owned property to State Foresters for the purpose of wildland and rural firefighting.
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network
The Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network connects and supports people and communities who are striving to live more safely with wildfire. The purpose of FAC Net is to exchange information, collaborate to enhance the practice of fire adaptation, and work together and at multiple scales to help communities live safely with fire. This includes embracing resiliency concepts and taking action before, during and after wildfires. They offer a Fire Adapted Communities Self-Assessment Tool (FAC SAT) to help communities assess their level of fire adaptation and track their capacity to live safely with fire over time
NACo County Wildfire Playbook
The National Association of Counties (NACo) produced this county leadership guide to help communities become more fire adapted and learn to live with wildland fire. The playbook has been designed by county commissioners, for county commissioners, as they endeavor to fortify and protect communities from high severity impacts of wildland fire.
National Association of State Foresters
The National Association of State Foresters is a non-profit organization composed of the directors of forestry agencies in the states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. State foresters manage and protect state and private forests, which encompass nearly two-thirds of the nation’s forests.
Volunteer Fire Assistance
The VFA program, formerly known as the Rural Community Fire Protection program, is administered by State Forestry agencies through 50-50 cost-sharing grants to local fire departments located in rural communities. The program’s main goal is to provide federal financial, technical and other assistance in the organization, training and equipping of fire departments in rural areas, defined as having a population of 10,000 or less.
Research & Science
- Communicating with wildland interface communities during wildfire. Taylor JG, Gillette SC, Hodgson RW, & Downing JL. (2005). USGS Open-File Report 2005-1061. Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey.
- Safe and effective wildfire response. (n.d.). USDA Forest Service.
- Towards enhanced risk management: planning, decision making and monitoring of US wildfire response. Dunn C, Calkin D, & Thompson M. (2017). International Journal of Wildland Fire, 26, 551-556.
- Wildfire Risk Management Science Team. (n.d.). USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.
Learn how these actions align with federal policies and initiatives.