This week, the Biden-Harris administration’s Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission released a report
outlining a strategy to meet aerial firefighting equipment needs through 2030. As climate change fuels longer and more intense wildfire seasons, aerial assets bring unique response capabilities to wildland fire suppression. The report released this week reexamines existing approaches to aviation fleet procurement, mobilization, composition and quantity in order to set aviation management on a new trajectory for the next decade and beyond.
The aviation report is the first product of the Commission because of the requirements of the statute. Wildland fire aviation is one of many priorities identified by the Commission. The full suite of recommendations will be addressed in the Commission’s final report. The questions asked of the Commission, and the issues that these recommendations address, are both complex and exceptionally important to the future success of aerial wildland firefighting.
The Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission was formed in December of 2021 by the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in response to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster-resource-center/wildland-fire/commission
The Western Fire Chiefs Association has been an active participant in the submittal of data and recommendations. Please go to the Commission’s website to submit thoughts and recommendations and/or forward them to WFCA.