Wildland Fire Leadership Council Meetings
Wildland Fire Leadership Council Meeting
Palm Coast, Florida
February 19, 2004
Implementation Plan Status Report (C. Newman)
- Status of Overdue Items:
- G2C - (Internet Funding Opportunity Info. System) In revision.
- G2E - (Collaborative Fuel Project Selection Process) In revision to clarify some action items.
- G3C - (Collaborative Ecosystem Restoration Project Selection Process) Needs revision, some action items duplicate those in G2E.
- G4C - (Incorporate Livestock Practices) Item is being reworked by BLM.
- G4G - (Technical Assistance Program for small diameter materials.) Action items need to be revised to reflect funding issues.
- Contracting process:
- Need more focused, interagency collaboration with small businesses and small communities to help them understand contracting opportunities for hazard reduction and restoration work.
Status of WFLC Communication Plan (C. Newman)
- Has been written, reviewed and approved, but needs more attention - some components need to be revised to reflect staff concerns, HFRA updates, etc.
- ACTION ITEM: Assistant Sec. Scarlett's communication staff will work on revising and moving the plan forward.
- Lead: L. Scarlett, T. Hartzell
Healthy Forests Restoration Act Implementation (R. Watson)
- Final field guidance to be issued:
- USDA Forest Service: March 3, 2004 (draft will be released to Forest Service NLT week of 2/23/04)
- Department of the Interior: March 11, 2004 (via teleconference with Assistant Secretary, BLM Director and field staff)
- A Forest Service "Fuels Information Desk" will be set up in the WO to ensure consistency of data, preparing briefings, data analysis, etc.
January '04 Biomass Conference in Denver
- Coordinated follow-up with DOI, USDA and DOE is planned.
Strategic Issues Panel on Fire Suppression Costs (H. Croft)
- Panel is not meant to be an independent review board but rather an advisory group that can take a deeper look into documented drivers of large fire cost suppression.
- WFLC action on the final report will include addressing and making decisions on the specific report recommendations.
- Panel member change:
- Allen Anspach has replaced Ike Cawston on the panel.
- Due Date:
- Panel will not be able to meet the April 30, 2004 due date as a result of scheduling challenges; report will be delayed so that the panel will be able to fully address the issue. The Council agreed to leave time frame open with the stipulation that the panel work to complete the report in a timely manner. H. Croft will meet with the Panel the week of 2/23/04 and will get back to WFLC with an estimated target completion date.
- WFLC may elect to have rolling presentations as key findings become available. This would not defer implementation of the entire findings and would accelerate enhancements/corrective actions.
- Panel Issues/Plans:
- Panel will meet in February in Boise and in March in D.C. (would like to meet with Assistant Secretary Scarlett and Deputy Undersecretary Dave Tenny at that time).
- Panel will consult OMB/GAO, national experts, researchers, states, land planners, etc. on longer term and broader issues that drive large fire costs including cost apportionment, land management planning, WFU, political factors that drive costs, etc.
- External studies and reports will also be considered by the panel.
Summary of Southern California Large Fire Blue Ribbon Panel (L. Hamilton)
- Commission will meet on March 18, 2004 to develop recommendations for the State of California.
- April 5, 2004 - recommendations will be presented to Governor of CA
- Potential implications/major issues:
- Legislation to amend the Economy Act of 1932 so that, in an emergency situation, we can deploy military action before all civilian resources have been utilized.
- Mutual aid agreements that are regional or national in scope.
- Zoning/construction ordinances.
- Review of historical southern California fuels studies/reports.
Local, Rural, Volunteer Fire Department Action Plan Update (J. Hull, J. Hubbard)
- Review of action items. Key findings include:
- Moving to a more performance-based training program.
- Development of more Type 3 teams.
- Focusing on equivalency between federal and municipal firefighters.
- Issues to consider:
- Interoperability as it relates to radio communications (narrow band communications is being addressed by NWCG)
- E-government initiatives that implicate wildland fire management and radio interoperability (safecom.gov, disaster.gov).
- Role/place of wildland fire management in the context of homeland security.
- ACTION ITEM: Prepare a briefing for the WFLC on homeland security initiatives (including disaster.gov, etc.) as they relate to wildland fire.
- Leads: T. Hartzell, C. Newman
Smoke Management/Air Issues Group (D. Haddow)
- Group proposed that WFLC consider sending a list of questions to the DOI Solicitor and USDA Forest Service Office of General Council for legal clarification/guidance on air and smoke issues.
- The council recognized the importance of not overstepping or overruling existing successful state or regional smoke management plans such as in Florida.
- There should be an emphasis on reviewing and considering already existing working state, regional and EPA issues as they relate to these smoke/air issues.
- Place emphasis on states or regions that don't have smoke management plans in place or have potential non-containment issues.
- The Council recommended presenting and working with the EPA on the two following primary issues of concern:
- Review of EPA fire/air policies.
- Development of guidance for states regarding PM 2.5, ozone and regional haze regulations.
- ACTION ITEM: A working group of representatives from the council agencies will be formed to better define specific issues/items, assignments and timelines as they relate to working with EPA on air/smoke policy and guidance. These items will be presented in an action plan to the WFLC for approval before moving forward.
- Leads: D. Haddow
NFP Monitoring Framework (S. Conard)
- Three key monitoring considerations were identified:
- The need for timely action,
- The need to identify the critical few priorities/questions that need to be addressed or answered, and
- The ability of the agencies to fully address the priorities/questions that they set forth for themselves.
- The 10-Year Implementation Plan performance measures should be a sieve that the monitoring group sifts their questions through.
- ACTION ITEM: The JFSP monitoring steering team will prioritize their current list of questions for WFLC at their upcoming March 4-5, 2004 meeting in Reno. These priorities will be presented to a subcommittee of the council (D. Tenny and L. Scarlett) for validation no later than 3/15/04.
- Timeline: The recommendation for final priority questions will be presented to the full WFLC during their March 19, 2004 phone call. A final interim framework will be developed by April 1, 2004. This framework will be presented during the April WFLC teleconference. It is intended that the prioritization process will seek input from the DOI Solicitor General, the USDA Office of General Council and the Office of Management and Budget.
- Leads: D. Tenny, C. Newman, L. Scarlett, N. Hatfield
** S. Conard distributed a synthesis report on the scientific findings regarding forest structure and wildland fire behavior/severity.
Federal Fuels Treatment Program (A. Fitzsimmons, J. Anderson)
- DECISION ITEM: The Council concurred that the FS, BIA, BLM, FWS, and NPS would report hazard acres treated by programs other than the National Fire Plan that accomplish condition class change. NFPORS will be the system for reporting. NFPORS will be modified and business rules written to enable planning and reporting on non-NFP acres on 10/01/04.
- Leads: Russ Berry, Allan Fitzsimmons, Janet Anderson
LANDFIRE Project Status Report (M. Rollins, A. Fitzsimmons, J. Anderson)
- The Revised Charter for the LANDFIRE Project calls for an accelerated timeline. Challenges identified by the LANDFIRE team include:
- Administration/management and staffing needs
- Expedited Reference (Field) collection
- Software/technology challenges
- Reduced funding levels
- Concerns arose regarding the relationship between LANDFIRE data and existing state or regional fuels mapping data. All parties need to work together to ensure that data can be shared among existing systems.
- ACTION ITEMS: Administration/management challenges - DOI and USDA Forest Service agency staff will work to get the project manager and business lead positions filled in an expedited manner. DOI will get a copy of the FS business lead position description to use as a guide in creating the DOI position description. DOI and the FS will discuss and decide on the location of the business leads.
- Leads: T. Hartzell, C. Newman, J. Anderson
- LANDFIRE will provide detailed information to T. Hartzell and C. Newman regarding additional positions that need to be filled in order to meet the accelerated Charter timeline.
- Leads: LANDFIRE staff
- Data collection challenges - Concern was expressed by bureau directors regarding the impact data collection would place on an already burdened field staff. LANDFIRE staff will draft a memo for Lynn Scarlett to send to the DOI bureau Directors defining the reference data collection need, the workload associated with these requests, time and associated costs. This draft letter will be sent to T. Hartzell and C.Newman who will coordinate agency approval.
- Leads: LANDFIRE staff, T. Hartzell, C. Newman
- DECISION ITEMS: Business management issues as they relate to the LANDFIRE implementation timeline will be examined and incorporated into a revised
- LANDFIRE Charter. The timeline will be accelerated to complete the rapid assessment nationwide by the 3rd quarter 2005 and accelerate LANDFIRE coverage west-wide no later than the 2nd quarter of FY2006. This Charter will include a section outlining the specific data requirements and estimated personnel hours required by field staff to provide existing field reference databases to the LANDFIRE team. A final Charter will be revised and presented to the WFLC members for approval during the March 19th WFLC call.
- Leads: LANDFIRE staff, T. Hartzell, C. Newman
- LANDFIRE staff will continue to coordinate dialogue and communications among LANDFIRE staff, partners, agency staff and the states to avoid creating conflicts, to eliminate or minimize duplication, and contradictory data.
- Leads: LANDFIRE staff
Media Guidelines on Large Fires (L. Hamilton)
- Concerns arose that there may be a need for more specific guidelines and clearer language regarding the duration/location of media access on large fire incidents.
- Once approved, Incident Commanders will be briefed on the guidelines at the upcoming Incident Commanders meeting in San Diego.
- ACTION ITEMS: The WFLC members will carefully review the guidelines for coordinating media access to large fires while providing for firefighter safety; the guidelines will be revisited for discussion during the March 19, 2004 WFLC call for final decision.
WFLC Meeting Cost Analysis and Discussion (T. Hartzell and C. Newman)
- DECISION ITEMS: It was decided that there will be three meetings per year, at least two of which will be held jointly with a field trip and with the option for a D.C. meeting as needed. The council agreed that WFLC members will commit to attending both the field and business components of the WFLC meetings. Agency staff will continue to monitor the successes/challenges of the meetings so that WFLC meetings continue to be productive.
- Jim Erickson expressed a concern that there has not been enough clarity regarding how upcoming fire and fuels management priorities and field guidances are developed.
- ACTION ITEM: NASF will distribute to WFLC members a list of each states' lead contacts responsible for coordinating annual fuels treatment project selections and ensuring that necessary stakeholder collaboration occurs.
- Lead: Jim Hubbard
- Larry Hamilton announced that a refresher video for basic firefighting will be released soon.
- Charlie Dickinson announced that a national standard of "credentials" for firefighters will be released soon - these standards will identify what agencies are to respond under what conditions.
- ACTION ITEM: FEMA will provide WFLC members with a one-page briefing paper on the Credential system.
- A follow-up letter announcing the partnerships that were developed at the January Biomass Conference will soon come out.
- Nina Hatfield was presented with a "plaque" commemorating her efforts towards developing the standardized Fire Code system.
NEXT MEETING AGENDA ITEMS
- FEMA "credential" system.
- FY 05 fuels treatment projects.
- Monitoring strategy.
- Cost containment recommendations.
NEXT WFLC CALL: March 19, 2004
TENTATIVE DATE/LOCATION OF NEXT WFLC MEETING
The next WFLC meeting will be scheduled to coincide with the May 18-21, 2004 "Smallwood 2004 Conference"in Sacramento, CA A biomass utilization field trip in the vicinity of Redding, CA will precede the WFLC business meeting. National experts and other stakeholders in small diameter utilization and biomass energy production will participate in the field trip with WFLC members. Northern CA is the most successful biomass market in the nation.