Wildfire Management Resources
The hot and dry summer season in Idaho brings with it the major threat of wildfires. These wildfires cause serious damage and destruction to homes and property, especially in drought years. In 2007, Idaho has had more fires burning than any other state with over 1.5 million acres damaged.
Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter has proposed a pilot project to rehabilitate 50,000 acres of burned rangeland in southern Idaho. Many state, federal and private agencies and organizations are partnering with the Governor’s office to offer resources to the pilot project. This unique partnership will bring a variety of resources and expertise to the project. Proposed practices include weed control, replanting to fire resistant native species, fencing, wildlife/livestock watering systems, and other science-based range management practices.
The partners involved in the rehabilitation initiative envisioned a website that would provide a one-stop warehouse of wildfire management resources to communities, landowners, and others with a stake in wildfire management. Listed below is a compilation of wildfire management resources available from state, federal and private agencies and organizations that offer financial assistance, wildfire mitigation education tools and fire prevention information.
National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC)
The National Interagency Fire Center (www.nifc.gov) in Boise, Idaho, is the nation's support center for wildland firefighting. The NIFC website offers complete up-to-date information on fires nationwide, contracting, maps, news, and a daily situation report. NIFC also offers a wealth of fire prevention and fuel control information, and training and qualification information.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) is dedicated to protecting Idaho’s wildlife heritage and has long been a partner agency in Idaho’s conservation efforts.
IDFG has a host of wildlife habitat improvement programs for landowners. Programs such as the Habitat Improvement Program (HIP) and Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) promote planting of species selected for their habitat properties and fire resistance.
Idaho Department of Lands
Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) is charged with managing and protecting six million acres of federal, state and private forestlands in Idaho. IDL has an extensive website related to fire management and control. Information on the IDL site includes forest management and assistance, statistics and links to other fire management resources.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
The Bureau of Land Management manages nearly 12 million acres of public lands in Idaho, one-fourth of Idaho's total land area. The BLM mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
The BLM has one of the largest and most complex fire management programs in Idaho. BLM in Idaho has created regional resource management plans to address the full gamut of programs and activities, including fire control, occurring on public lands. The BLM Office of Fire and Aviation manages fire control issues. Grazing is an important tool that the BLM uses in Idaho to promote rangeland health and reduce fuel loads.
Farm Service Agency
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers and manages farm commodity, credit, conservation, disaster and loan programs to improve the economic stability of the agricultural industry
The FSA's Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) provides emergency funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought.
Fish and Wildlife Service
The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Fire is essential to managing the majority of the Service's 95-million-acres. The FWS website has a page devoted to information on fire management as it relates to wildlife and habitat.
The USDA Forest Service manages public lands in national forests and grasslands. The Fire and Aviation Management part of the USDA Forest Service is a diverse group of people working to advance technologies in fire management and suppression, and maintain and improve the extremely efficient mobilization and tracking systems in place.
The Forest Service website offers information on wildfire management, suppression, safety, and prevention.
National Interagency Coordination Center
The National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) is the focal point for coordinating the mobilization of resources for wildland fire and other incidents throughout the United States. Located in Boise, Idaho, the NICC also provides Intelligence and Predictive Services related-products designed to be used by the internal wildland fire community for wildland fire and incident management decision-making. The NICC has regularly updated, regional fire incident information, and predictive services information.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service
The National Weather Service is a component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The National Weather Service (NWS) provides weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas, for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy. NWS data and products form a national information database and infrastructure that can be used by other governmental agencies, the private sector, the public, and the global community.
NOAA’s National Weather Service provides a daily national fire weather webpage, forecasting local weather conditions relating to fire management.
National Park Service
The National Park Service (NPS) preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world. The National Park Service Fire Management Program Center provides national leadership, direction, coordination, and support for NPS fire, aviation, and incident management.
National Wildfire Coordinating Group
The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) coordinates programs of the following wildfire management agencies to avoid duplication of resources and to provide a means of constructively working together:
- USDA Forest Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- National Park Service
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- State forestry agencies through the National Association of State Foresters
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has more than 70 years of experience in assisting owners of Idaho's private land with conserving their soil, water and other natural resources. NRCS delivers technical assistance based on sound science and suited to a customer's specific needs. NRCS offers financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to help landowners restore private grazing lands destroyed by fire. NRCS provides http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ technical assistance and programs that cost-share practices that include fire control benefits.
U.S. Fire Administration and Federal Emergency Management Administration
The U.S. Fire Administration is part of the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency. The mission of the USFA is to reduce life and economic losses due to fire and related emergencies, through leadership, advocacy, coordination and support. USFA also provides public education, training, technology, and data initiatives.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Nature Conservancy has launched the Global Fire Initiative to help combat the threats that too much, too little or the wrong kind of fire pose to biodiversity conservation worldwide.