For decades, the wildland fire crisis has been growing, along with more severe, catastrophic wildfires which devastate communities and ecosystems, and threaten lives and livelihoods across the country.
In response, President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law created the federal Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission in 2021 and charged it with recommending improvements to how federal agencies manage wildfire across the landscape. Co-chaired by the Departments of Agriculture, the Interior and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the commission brought together a rare diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and expertise to address the wildfire crisis. The commission also solicited, considered and integrated public input in their discussions and recommendations in the reports.
Throughout its deliberations, the Commission sought to address the wildfire system holistically, with a goal of creating communities and landscapes that are resilient to wildfire as a natural and integral part of the nation’s future.
The 50 commission members were selected from more than 500 applicants, representing federal agencies, state, local, and Tribal governments, as well as the private sector. The commission submitted their first report to Congress in February 2023, which recommended strategies to improve aerial firefighting efforts and meet equipment needs through 2030.
The commission’s second and final report (PDF, 5.3 MB) was submitted to Congress on September 27, 2023 and reflects one of the most sweeping and comprehensive reviews of the wildfire system to date.
The report makes 148 recommendations covering seven key themes:
- Urgent New Approaches to address the wildfire crisis
- Supporting Collaboration to improve partner involvement at every scale
- Shifting from Reactive to Proactive in planning for, mitigating and recovering from fire
- Enabling Beneficial Fire to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire
- Supporting and Expanding the Workforce to hire and retain the wildland firefighting staff needed to address the crisis
- Modernizing Tools for Informed Decision-making to better leverage available technology and information
- Investing in Resilience through increased spending now to reduce costs in the long run
Opportunities to Act:
Rather than selecting one or more potential recommendations, the Commission urged an “all of the above” approach, because the scale of the problem requires broad integrated, solutions. While the resulting recommendations are extensive and diverse, they are also complementary and interrelated. With these solutions in hand, the commission is recommending Congress act as quickly as possible.
Commission members will remain empaneled for six months following the final report being submitted to Congress.
- Commission Members
- Statute (PDF, 194 KB)
- Aerial Wildland Firefighting Equipment Strategy (PDF, 1.1 MB)
- Final Wildfire Mitigation and Management Report to Congress (PDF, 14.4 MB)