The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service works collaboratively with other federal agencies, Tribes, states, local fire departments, private landowners and non-governmental organizations to improve joint stewardship of our natural resources, protect people and property and maintain healthy and productive ecosystems. The Service lends its fire management expertise to partners and gains reciprocal benefits.

Professional fire managers work at many levels within the Service and are partnered to the interagency fire community. Service contributions includes mutual aid with other fire organizations, as well as technical support during fuels treatment projects that are conducted on other federal, Tribal, state and private lands.

Interagency Coordination

Since 1979, the Service's fire program has been headquartered at the National Interagency Fire Center as a partner with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Association of State Foresters and other agencies. Wildland fire resources are dispatched through an interagency system of local, geographic and national coordination centers.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service hosts the North Dakota Interagency Dispatch Center at the Habitat and Population Evaluation Team (HAPET) office in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Fire Program Analysis

The purpose of the Fire Program Analysis (FPA) System is to provide managers with a common interagency process for fire management planning and budgeting to evaluate the effectiveness of alternative fire management strategies. Involved agencies include the Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs along with other federal partners, as well as various state entities. Learn more at the Fire Program Analysis web site

Local Communities

FWS managers work closely with communities adjacent to national wildlife refuges and other Service lands. During the land management planning process where objectives are determined for a refuge or other unit, public meetings are held and public input is solicitied. Reducing hazardous fuels on Service lands in order to protect homes in the wildland-urban interface is a high priority. In addition to providing mutual aid to local f ire departments each year, the Service also provides Rural Fire Assistance grants to local fire departments to enhance local wildfire protection, purchase equipment and train volunteer firefighters.
Learn more about the Rural Fire Assistance program.

National Wildlife Refuge Support Groups

Many national wildlife refuges, and a few national fish hatcheries, have "friends groups" - members and leaders of the local community who voluntarily promote the interests of the refuge. Friends groups provide opportunities for local citizens to get involved in refuge activities and make a difference. These partnerships are important to Service fire managers, especially on refuges with large fire programs.

Last Updated: 01/26/2012