DoD’s recognition of the increasing threat from wildfires has precipitated numerous changes to its wildland fire management programs, including official adoption of National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) standards for all wildland fire operations and establishment of an interagency agreement with the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) for tracking NWCG qualifications of Army and Air Force firefighters within the national database.

Internally, DoD has established the DoD Wildland Fire Working Group (WFWG) with representatives from all military branches to identify and address issues, facilitating development of a cohesive strategy within DoD and with its interagency partners. DoD also participates in the Wildland Fire Leadership Council with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as well as leadership representing state, tribal and local governments to ensure consistent implementation of federal wildland fire management policies.

Recognizing the threats posed by climate change and wildfires, DoD, through its environmental research programs, SERDP and ESTCP, has become a national leader in wildland fire research through the establishment and funding of the “DoD Wildland Fire Science Initiative.” Through the current suite of SERDP and ESTCP research projects, the DoD has also become a recognized leader in co-production of management-relevant science between fire managers and researchers with a focus on next-generation fire behavior and smoke dispersion models.