Forest Service releases 2024 wildfire management strategy for increased resilience

May 30, 2024

Emphasis on safety and preparedness for 2024 wildfire season

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service has outlined its strategy for the 2024 wildfire season, as described in a letter by Randy Moore, Chief of the Forest Service.

The letter highlights the need for a proactive approach to wildfire management, emphasizing safety and preparedness to protect communities, critical infrastructure, and natural resources.

Chief Moore stated: “Our collective commitment and resilience turned vision into action.

“We faced challenges head-on, with significant contributions from employees, at all levels, at home and abroad.”

The strategy includes continued efforts to treat hazardous fuels and improve fire response through enhanced pre-season collaboration and the use of Potential Operational Delineations (PODs).

Commitment to employee safety and wellbeing

Employee safety and wellbeing are prioritized in the Forest Service’s strategy for 2024.

Chief Moore stressed the importance of maintaining a safe and resilient workforce, addressing both physical and psychological safety.

Moore emphasized: “Your role as leaders is pivotal to sustaining our organization and ensuring our employees feel safe—psychologically, physically and socially.”

The Forest Service will continue to offer care services, including Critical Incident Stress Management and Employee Assistance programs, to support employees throughout the wildfire season.

Use of advanced tools and technology

The 2024 strategy also includes the use of advanced tools and technology to enhance wildfire management.

This involves proactive prescribed fire planning, fire detection, risk assessments, and post-fire recovery.

Chief Moore highlighted: “Every fire will receive a risk-informed response; we know the most effective strategies are collaboratively carried-out, at the local level.”

The use of PODs and other science-based tools is expected to improve decision-making and community protection.

Continued focus on landscape restoration

The Forest Service remains committed to achieving its “Wildfire Crisis Strategy” landscape restoration goals.

This involves using both planned and unplanned fires, and natural ignitions to increase landscape resilience when conditions permit.

The letter stated: “Our focus must remain on achieving our ‘Wildfire Crisis Strategy’ landscape restoration goals, while fulfilling our leadership role in emergency response.”

The strategy also includes expanding partnerships and engaging with Tribal partners to incorporate indigenous ecological knowledge.

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