Wildland Fire Management: Improved Planning Will Help Agencies Better Identify Fire-Fighting Preparedness Needs

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Each year, fires on federal lands burn millions of acres and federal land management agencies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fight them. Wildland fires also threaten communities adjacent to federal lands. The Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and the Interior, the lead federal agencies in fighting wildfires, jointly developed a long-term fire-fighting strategy in September 2000. Five federal land management agencies--the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Park Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service--are working together ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. March 29, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Each year, fires on federal lands burn millions of acres and federal land management agencies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fight them. Wildland fires also threaten communities adjacent to federal lands. The Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and the Interior, the lead federal agencies in fighting wildfires, jointly developed a long-term fire-fighting strategy in September 2000. Five federal land management agencies--the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Park Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service--are working together to accomplish the plan's objectives. GAO found that the Forest Service and Interior have not effectively determined the amount of personnel and equipment needed to respond to and suppress wildland fires. Although the agencies have acquired considerably more personnel and equipment than were available in 2000, they have not acquired all of the resources needed to implement the new strategy. Despite having received substantial additional funding, the two agencies have not yet developed performance measures. The Forest Service simply measures the amount of fire-fighting resources it will be able to devote to fire fighting at each location, regardless of risk. Without results-oriented performance measures, it is difficult to hold the Forest Service accountable for the results it achieves. The Forest Service and the Interior agencies use different methods to report fire-fighting personnel costs--an approach that is not in keeping with policies requiring coordination and consistency across all aspects of fire management, including accounting for fire-related costs."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • March 29, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Wildland Fire Management: Improved Planning Will Help Agencies Better Identify Fire-Fighting Preparedness Needs, report, March 29, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc292853/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.