The non-federal members of the Wildland Fire Leadership Coalition (WFLC) have released this year’s fire letter.
This has been a challenging past year – our decision-makers, our responders, and our communities were faced with responding to the COVID pandemic while managing a record setting wildfire year. We commend the interagency approach to both disasters. As your national representatives on wildland fire through the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC), we wanted to reach out to our fellow members, communities, and all those that work with state, tribal and local governments. WFLC is an intergovernmental committee of federal, state, tribal, and local officials dedicated to promoting consistent wildland fire policies, goals, and management activities and implementing the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy. The members of WFLC understand the commitment it takes to achieve success and join the efforts with our partners to promote another safe and effective wildland fire year.
To our responders – we respect you to the fullest. In addition to your normal responsibilities, state, tribal, and local responders make up much of the surge and reserve capacity of this country, for both wildland fire and all emergency response. You make yourselves available in every way possible to protect our communities against catastrophic loss due to wildfire at the national level. We support your physical and mental health and safety and promote a positive work and interagency environment with our federal, state, tribal and local partners.
Communities – we are in it with you. You have encountered many challenges across the country relating to wildland and wildland urban interface fires. From helping to create resilient landscapes to building fire adapted communities including seeking opportunities for additional fuels mitigation, you have worked hard to help your communities live with wildland fire. Wildland fire will always be a part of many of our communities, but how we deal with it has created challenges. We stand together to continue strengthening our communities and protecting our states and communities from loss.
Along with our federal partners, we continue to utilize the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy as the framework to addresses these challenges. By closely coordinating and assisting one another for a seamless wildfire response network, regardless of who owns the land, we strive to keep our firefighters and communities safe. We work in and with communities through programs intended to help them live with fire, through home hardening and reducing risk from wildland fire. And we work across governmental boundaries throughout the landscape to help build resiliency that not only minimizes hazards, but enhances benefits coming from forests and rangelands.
As a collective, we will continue to work together to help build fire adapted communities, contribute to resilient landscapes, and collectively work to protect communities through efficient and effective wildfire response. But above all else, we are committed to doing all we can to promote responder and public safety, despite all the challenges that come our way.
More resources on wildfire prevention, preparedness, and mitigation are also included in the full letter linked below.