[Executive Summary] The Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC) presents this Addendum Update, to spotlight wildland fire critical emphasis areas and challenges that were not identified or addressed in depth in the 2014 National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (Cohesive Strategy) framework. It includes enhanced strategic direction and approved modifications to address the identified areas and challenges to Cohesive Strategy implementation over the decades to come.
Over the course of this review and update, four key critical emphasis areas surfaced as either not identified or addressed in depth in the 2014 Cohesive Strategy framework:
- Climate change
- Workforce capacity, health and well-being
- Community resilience (preparation, response and recovery)
- Diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice
Five key implementation challenges were also identified:
- The existing wildland fire management system has not kept pace with demands.
- There is still a need for the significant increase in the use of proactive fire (prescribed and managed wildfire for resource objectives) across the country.
- Science, data, and technology has not kept pace with the extent of wildland fire and postfire impacts, or been fully integrated into decision-making for fire, land and community managers.
- Markets, infrastructure, and skilled human resource capacity are inadequate to utilize biomass and other wood products from ecosystem management or hazardous fuel treatments.
- Education, communications and marketing are insufficient to inform stakeholders and decision-makers about Cohesive Strategy implementation.
These critical emphasis areas and key challenges to implementing the Cohesive Strategy were identified and examined for this report and led to the following enhancements to the vision and goal statements in the original 2014 strategy.
An updated Vision statement: To safely and effectively extinguish fire, when needed; use fire where allowable; manage our natural resources; and collectively, learn to live with wildland fire.
- Resilient Landscapes – Landscapes, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries are resilient to fire, insect, disease, invasive species and climate change disturbances, in accordance with management objectives.
- Fire Adapted Communities – Human populations and infrastructure are as prepared as possible to receive, respond to, and recover from wildland fire.
- Safe, Effective, Risk-based Wildfire Response – All jurisdictions participate in making and implementing safe, effective, efficient risk-based wildfire management decisions.
The Wildland Fire Leadership Council also identified additional Management Options and a broad Call to Action that applies to stakeholders at all levels, looking to implement the Cohesive Strategy, through a lens of diversity, equity and inclusion.
The members of WFLC, on January 31, 2023, approved this document, including the enhancements to the vision and goals. This addendum, taken in concert with the 2014 National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, are considered merged as the Cohesive Strategy going forward.