Wildland Fire Protection Strategic Plan
Fundamental change is needed to reduce wildfire risks to people, communities and our environment and maintain Washington’s quality of life.
The Washington Wildland Fire Protection strategic planning process will bring together the leaders, partners, and stakeholders in wildland fire prevention, response, and community resilience to envision a new future for effective wildland fire management. View our fact sheet for the development of the WA Wildland Fire Protection Strategic Plan.
Coming soon, please check back.
Washington’s record fire seasons in 2014 and 2015 were devastating: the loss of life, homes, and structures; damage to fish and wildlife habitat and other natural and cultural resources; local communities suffering from a loss of visitors and revenue, and poor air quality. The state spent millions of dollars in direct suppression costs, and millions more were spent mitigating the social, cultural, and economic impacts from these fires. These seasons—and this year’s fire season across the west—represent a trend of large, uncharacteristic wildfires that is expected to continue with no end in sight.
The state's future Wildland Fire Protection Strategic Plan will provide a blueprint for effective wildland fire protection in Washington and inform associated policy and resource decisions. The plan is the next phase in an overall strategy to fundamentally change the future trajectory of wildland fire in Washington. It follows the recent roll-out of the state’s 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan, which establishes a framework to systematically treat broad forest landscapes to improve forest health and reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfires. The plan is also anchored in the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy and shares its focus on resilient landscapes, fire-adapted communities, and safe, effective wildfire response. Additionally, the plan will focus on wildfire prevention and reducing human-caused ignitions.
Process and Outcomes
Over the next six months, DNR will invite representatives from federal, tribal, state, and local government; affected communities; fire service, emergency response, forest management, and conservation organizations; and private industry to come to together to chart a bold new path to improved wildland fire outcomes.
Through this process, we will:
- Identify a common vision and roadmap for improved wildland fire outcomes.
- Promote strategic and programmatic alignment among wildland fire management agencies and jurisdictions in the state, while recognizing our separate missions, roles, and responsibilities.
- Foster communication and collaborative engagement across the state to improve wildfire outcomes before, during, and after wildfire.
To gather input and recommendations before the fire season begins, outreach and engagement is focused in early 2018. By early summer, we expect to release a strategic plan that outlines needed changes in wildland fire management; sets realistic timeframes to accomplish those changes; and identifies resources, roles, and responsibilities to implement the plan.
Wildland Fire Summit - January 31, 2018
The summit brought together leaders, partners, and stakeholders in wildland fire prevention, response and community resilience to launch a comprehensive review of wildfire management in Washington. View the agenda here.