The risk of large, highly destructive wildland fire across the dry forests of the West is increasing.
Every year, wildland fires consume many acres across the West, burning with fierce intensity. The impacts of human development and the resulting wildland-urban interface (WUI) also contribute significantly to the challenge of managing fire on wild lands.
The costs of these wildland fires go far beyond suppression, with consequences that impact clean air, water, tourism and recreation, and many costs associated with restoration.
The risks posed by wildland fire -- to communities, fire protection services, fire use and management, as well as air quality and smoke management -- create ongoing challenges across the West.
A Western Wildfire Risk Assessment for the 17 western states and six U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands was recently completed. It serves as an effective tool to address wildfire preparedness, suppression, and mitigation across all land ownerships.
Efforts are focused on achieving the three goals identified in the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy:
- Restoring and maintaining resilient landscapes
- Creating fire-adapted communities
- Responding to wildfires