Wildlife Fires

Office of Fire and Aviation (OFA)

Lathrop Bayou, March 2007The Office of Fire and Aviation (OFA) is a diverse, professional organization dedicated to providing national direction, leadership, policy, standards, and operational oversight. OFA works with State and field offices to ensure a safe, cost effective and efficient fire and aviation management program in support of the national Bureau of Land Management (BLM) mission.

The OFA is headquartered at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, where it works with seven other federal agencies to manage wildland fire in the United States. BLM’s fire and aviation program has three organizational levels: 1) the national office provides leadership and oversight, and develops policy, procedures and budgets for the fire and aviation program; 2) state offices are responsible for coordinating policies and interagency activities within their state; and 3) field offices are responsible for on-the-ground fire management and aviation activities, often partnering with other agencies to maximize rapid initial attack.

Jackson Hotshot Crew

Members of the Jackson Hotshot Crew

  

Although many of the nation’s vast wildfires occur in the West, BLM Eastern States plays a major role in firefighting efforts. The Jackson Hotshot Crew, based in Jackson, Mississippi, is the only BLM-sponsored, elite wildland firefighting crew in the eastern United States. They are 1 of 6 hotshot crews sponsored by the BLM nationwide, and 1 of only 65 crews in the United States.

 

A member of the Jackson Hotshot Crew helping to put out a fire

 

The Jackson Hotshots have fought fires across the nation, including in Florida, Nevada, Utah, and Montana. They have helped with prescribed burns in the Talledega National Forest in Alabama and the Savannah Coastal National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. The crew also assisted with relief efforts in New York City after the September 11, 2001, tragedy.

 

 

Wildfire experience nationwide during the past 2 years has emphasized the need for increased fire training and greater coordination of training among all agencies. In support of these needs, BLM Eastern States is working with the Mississippi Forestry Commission and other partners to build and furnish a fire and disaster training facility in the southeastern United States.