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April 22, 2009
In Reply Refer To:
9210 (WO-400/FA-600) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2009-112
Expires: 9/30/2010
To:                   State Directors
From:               Director  

Subject:           Updated Policy for Implementation of Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy 

Program Area: Wildland Fire Management
Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to transmit the Guidance for Implementation of Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy dated February 13, 2009 and provide specific Bureau of Land Management (BLM) guidance for its implementation. This document can be found at: http://www.nifc.gov/policies.htm
Policy/Action: States are directed to adopt the attached Fire Executive Council document Guidance for Implementation of Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy (February 13, 2009), with the following BLM clarification guidance, which will be incorporated into future policy documents as appropriate:
·         Our safety philosophy acknowledges that while the ideal level of risk may be zero, a hazard free work environment is not a reasonable or achievable goal in fire operations. Our Agency Administrators and Incident Commanders will be expected to determine the acceptable level of risk that allows us to provide for safety yet still achieve fire management objectives.
·         If land use plans and fire management plans do not clearly outline areas where and/or circumstances when wildfire would meet resource objectives the only option is to suppress the fire.
·         All known human caused fires, except escaped prescribed fires, will be suppressed in every instance and will not be managed for resource benefits.
The revised guidance reaffirms the need to work collaboratively with state, local and Tribal fire managers as well as public and nongovernmental organizations in the management of wildland fire. It also emphasizes the need to conduct fire management planning which is intergovernmental in scope and at landscape scale, and help prepare for the eventuality of wildland fire crossing jurisdictional boundaries.
The BLM is working with our federal wildland fire agency partners to develop unified direction and guidance for agency/bureau manuals, directives, handbooks, guidebooks, plans, agreements and other pertinent documents to complete final implementation of this guidance. We are revising and developing accountability standards, performance measures, and monitoring systems to assess if resource and protection objectives are met during the management of wildland fires.
Background: The Review and Update of the 1995 Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy (January 2001) remains the primary statement of interagency wildland fire policy. Until now, the Interagency Strategy for the Implementation of Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy (June 20, 2003) has provided direction for implementation of that policy. The Fire Executive Council recently issued the attached Guidance for Implementation of Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy (February 13, 2009), which updates and replaces the June 20, 2003 document.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: The BLM Manuals/Handbooks will be reviewed and revised as appropriate to reflect policy implementation direction.
Coordination: The BLM Fire and Aviation has coordinated with the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Association of State Foresters, Office of Wildland Fire Coordination, Washington Office, Renewable Resources and Planning, and the Fire Leadership Team.
Contact: Please direct your questions to Roy Johnson, Acting Division Chief, Fire Planning and Fuels Management, 208-387-5163, or John Glenn, Division Chief, Fire Operations, 208-387-5441.
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Mike Pool                                                                     Robert M. Williams
Acting, Director                                                            Division of IRM Governance,WO-560

Last updated: 10-20-2009