An Executive Order issued by President Donald Trump will establish a Wildland Fire Subcabinet to improve interagency coordination. The Executive Order on Establishing The Wildland Fire Management Policy Committee aims to better mitigate wildfire disasters. A more organized approach to forest management and firefighting practices is expected to improve firefighting conditions and reduce risk.
“While I am proud of our progress to promote active management, reduce hazardous fuels, work across boundaries and increase the resiliency of our nation’s forests and grasslands, I believe more can be done,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a news release. “With the establishment of a subcabinet dedicated exclusively to wildland fire management, we will be better equipped to prevent and fight wildfires, ensuring these national treasures will continue to be enjoyed by future generations of Americans.”
The Executive Order establishes policies to eliminate unnecessary duplication within federal agencies through better coordination between entities. Wildland fire management policy, implementation, and oversight issues will also be improved under the order. Federal agencies will also engage in more communication with state, local, and tribal governments on wildfire issues. The order also calls for better management of preparedness resources and improved attack response and fire support. Federal agencies will also increase support for workforce development to recruit, train, and retain wildland firefighters.
The Wildland Fire Subcabinet will be co-chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of the Interior. Other federal personnel will comprise the subcabinet as deemed by the Co-Chairs. USDA will be providing administrative support for the subcabinet and will carry out the requirements of the order in coordination with the Department of Interior. The subcabinet is set to meet quarterly. Once a year the subcabinet will be required to provide updates on the status of the strategic plan and specific actions taken to carry out the Executive Order.