April 30, 2007
In Reply Refer To:
9210 (100) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2007-109
Expires: 09/30/2008
To:                  State Directors
From:               Deputy Director, Operations
Subject:            Bureau of Land Management Fire Severity Funding
Program Area: Fire Management.
Purpose: Transmit fire severity funding guidance for Fiscal Year 2007.
Policy/Action: In FY 2007, each Bureau of Land Management (BLM) state will have a fire severity funding authorization limit.  This limit is established by the Assistant Director, Fire and Aviation, based on departmental direction. Historic severity expenditures have been taken into consideration. The limit is 10% of each state’s initial base preparedness funding as shown below:
Initial Base
Authorization Limit (10% of base)

Each State Director will have $300,000.00 in discretionary severity authorization that can be expended for appropriate severity funding activities without additional approval from the National Office. This does not diminish the state cap and is an increase from the historic $100,000.00 in State Director discretionary severity funding authorization.
If a state exceeds its authorization limit and needs additional severity funding, the State Director must request contingency funding from the Deputy Assistant Director at the National Interagency Fire Center.  The National Office will retain limited contingency funding that can be made available to states in need. Additionally, funds set aside for a particular state may be reallocated to another state if the need arises and it appears that the original state will not need its full authorization.
Severity funding requests will be accepted and approved in 14 day increments only. This shorter time period will provide a higher degree of predictive services accuracy and reinforce the necessary connection between above normal fuel conditions (heavy fuel loading, low live fuel moisture, etc.) and the increased probability of ignition due to predicted lightning, high winds, low relative humidity, increased human activity, etc. It will also encourage a more expeditious release of severity funded resources that are no longer required.
The requesting process outlined in the Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations will be used unless otherwise stated in this or other instruction. You can also find this process on the web at http://www.blm.gov/nifc/st/en/prog/fire/fireops/severity.html.
States will receive a separate authorization number for ground based resources such as engines, crews, and Incident Commanders Type 3 (ICT3), and a separate authorization number for aviation resources. This recognizes the greater mobility of air resources and supports the BLM national aviation strategy, which includes prioritized allocation based on need, total air resource mobility, and cost containment. When a state is directed to release an air resource to another state, all related charges will be covered by the receiving state. Additional guidance on obtaining supplemental aircraft is provided in the attached document, “BLM Supplemental Aircraft Acquisition.” Regardless of the resource funded or the separate authorization numbers, all authorized severity funding counts toward the state’s severity authorization limit.
Post-season reviews of severity funding use will be conducted by Fire and Aviation this fall and winter. Select states will be reviewed in order to identify potential severity process improvements at the local, state and national level. 
Time Frame: Effective immediately.
Budget Impact: None.
Background: The Department of the Interior (DOI) bureaus use severity funding to increase preparedness capability during extended periods of abnormally high fire potential, or for seasons that either start earlier or last longer than specified in fire management plans. The trend since 2000 has been for steady and significant increases in severity expenditures. The DOI bureau Fire Directors have agreed that stricter internal controls on severity spending could help control suppression obligations.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations.
Coordination: This IM has been coordinated with Fire and Aviation Divisions of Budget and Evaluation, Fire Operations, and the National Aviation Office.
Contact: Terry O’Connell, Division of Fire Operations, at (208) 387-5883.
Signed by:
Authenticated by:
Henri R. Bisson
Robert M. Williams
Deputy Director, Operations
Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
1 Attachment: