The Biden administration Wednesday announced guidance to federal agency leaders with wildfire responsibilities outlining their vision and goals for managing wildland fires this year.
The guidance comes from a joint memo issued by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. The memo highlights other strategic priorities to reduce wildfire risk, restore ecosystems, engage in post-fire recovery, and make communities more resilient to fire. The memo also references the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy as a guide to working with partners to restore and maintain landscapes and help communities become fire adapted.
Vilsack says, “We need to better support our firefighters and that’s why President Biden has proposed long-term reforms that will provide permanent pay increases, better housing, better mental and physical health resources, and better work-life balance.”
USDA and the Interior Department aim to have more than 17,000 wildland firefighters on board by the end of this year to help support communities increasingly impacted by wildfires.