Policy Guidance

Roles, Responsibilities and Accountability

Plan preparation, review, approval, and implementation require immediate action and span multiple program responsibilities and disciplines and are summarized below:

Planning

Emergency stabilization and rehabilitation treatments will be described in separate plans.  The Burned Area Emergency Stabilization Plan will specify only emergency activities and treatments carried out within
one year of wildfire containment and must be completed within 7 calendar days after total wildfire containment and approved within 6 business days of receipt by the approving office (extensions can be granted by the approving office).

The Burned Area Rehabilitation Plan will specify non-emergency activities and treatments which are compatible with approved unit management plans and can be accomplished within 3 years of wildfire containment.  A plan amendment, approved by the original plan approval authority unless the total cost of the plan exceeds that authority, is required to document and support any additional funding requests and can be made at any time. 

Plan Review and Approval

Project leaders submit electronic copies of completed plans to the Regional Fire Management Coordinator (RFMC) and National Burned Area Emergency Response Coordinator (NBAERC) for concurrent and coordinated technical, fiscal and policy review. The RFMC presents the plan and RFMC/NBAERC approval recommendations to the Regional Director for approval. Following Regional Director approval, the NBAERC presents plans with estimated costs greater than or equal to $500,000 to the Chief, Fire
Management Branch for final approval. Following plan approval, the NBAERC enters plan data into NFPORS.

Funding

Emergency Stabilization and Burned Area Rehabilitation funding guidance should be referenced when developing and implementing a Burned Area Emergency Stabilization and/or Burned Area Rehabilitation Plan.  The FireCode fire number will be used to establish the cost structure for all emergency stabilization and burned area rehabilitation projects. The appropriate cost structure will be activated only after plan and funding approval have been completed.  Planned data entries into the NFPORS Rehabilitation and Restoration module are the responsibility of the National Burned Area Emergency Response Coordinator while accomplishment data entries are the responsibility of the field unit or Regional office. 

Consideration of additional Emergency Stabilization or Burned Area Rehabilitation funding beyond the first year requires monitoring documentation and an Annual Accomplishment Report (see Reporting Requirements below). 

Emergency Stabilization funding is provided for no more than one year following total containment of the wildfire, except that emergency stabilization funding can be used for up to three years following total containment of the wildfire for treatment effectiveness monitoring and to repair or replace emergency stabilization structures or treatments where failure to do so would imperil watershed functionality or result in serious loss of downstream values. Emergency stabilization funding cannot be used to continue seeding, plantings, and invasive plant treatments beyond one year. Continued treatment funding beyond the first year requires an approved plan amendment including monitoring documentation justifying the additional funding request and data entry into NFPORS Rehabilitation and Restoration module.  Emergency stabilization plans and expenditures will conform to Interagency Burned Area Emergency Response Guidebook standards and guidelines.

Funding for rehabilitation treatments is provided in one-year increments for no more than three years following containment of a wildland fire; therefore, obligating funds in one fiscal year for use in another is only done when there is not sufficient time to initiate and complete the contracting necessary to begin treatment work as identified in an approved plan. All rehabilitation projects or treatments are funded on a priority basis as established by the NBAER Coordinators in consultation with the Office of Wildland Fire Coordination.  If necessary, the priority selection for treatments on prior-year fires will occur shortly after the start of each fiscal year. Funding will be distributed upon passage of the Interior Appropriation bill or other appropriate legislation. Rehabilitation plans will conform to Interagency Burned Area Emergency Response Guidebook standards and guidelines.

Budget Allocation

The Branch of Fire Management will allocate available Emergency Stabilization or Burned Area Rehabilitation funds based on information in the approved plan subject to:

The local field unit or region is responsible for establishing a FireCode compatible cost structure for the approved plan.

Reporting Requirements

A Burned Area Emergency Response Stabilization and/or Burned Area Rehabilitation Plan annual accomplishment report developed by the field unit is required to receive continued funding in years two and three, and will document treatment and activity accomplishments, actual implementation costs, and treatment effectiveness.  Accomplishment reports may require more detailed information for local management and less detail information for national office or Departmental use. Summarized accomplishment information will be collected and archived at the appropriate field, regional and national office levels for use in program planning, review, and oversight as necessary.
 
Detailed annual accomplishment reports are completed by the end of each fiscal year and will document actual accomplishments, costs and monitoring results and kept in field unit project files.  An electronic copy of the annual accomplishment report will be forwarded to the National BAER Coordinator.

Field units will enter annual accomplishments into the National Fire Plan Operations and Reporting System (NFPORS) in the following fields:

The Burned Area Emergency Stabilization and/or Rehabilitation Plan final accomplishment report will include plan activities in sufficient detail to document all accomplishments, implementation costs and monitoring results.  The final accomplishment report is completed no later than 3 years and 60 days following wildfire containment.  An electronic copy of all final accomplishment reports is provided to the Branch of Fire Management in Boise, Idaho, and is posted on the Service's Emergency Stabilization and Burned Area Rehabilitation Sharepoint site.

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Last Updated: 01/13/2012