Establishment of the Wildland Fire Executive Council

A notice was published in the February 15, 2011 edition of the Federal Register that announced the establishment of the “Wildland Fire Executive Council”. Here is an excerpt from the article:

The purpose of the WFEC is to provide advice on the coordinated national level wildland fire policy leadership, direction, and program oversight in support to the Wildland Fire Leadership Council.

[…]

It will report to the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture through the Wildland Fire Leadership Council, which is comprised of, in part, the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget and the Directors of National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the U.S. Geological Survey for the Department of the Interior, and for the Department of Agriculture, the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, the Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, and the Chief of the Forest Service.

The Department of the Interior’s Office of Wildland Fire Coordination will provide support for the WFEC.

The purpose of the WFEC is to provide advice on the coordinated national level wildland fire policy leadership, direction, and program oversight in support to the Wildland Fire Leadership Council.

The WFEC will meet approximately 6–12 times a year. The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint members on a staggered term basis for terms not to exceed 3 years.

Members of the WFEC shall be composed of representatives from the Federal government, and from among, but not limited to, the following interest groups.

  1. Director, Department of the Interior, Office of Wildland Fire Coordination;
  2. Director, United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Fire and Aviation Management;
  3. Assistant Administrator, U.S. Fire Administration;
  4. National Wildfire Coordinating Group;
  5. National Association of State Foresters;
  6. International Association of Fire Chiefs;
  7. Intertribal Timber Council;
  8. National Association of Counties;
  9. National League of Cities; and
  10. National Governors’ Association

Since the Wildland Fire Leadership Council was created, I have wondered how it could really get anything accomplished with the membership consisting of extremely high-level people such as Assistant and Deputy Secretaries, and Directors of agencies, few of whom have much in-depth knowledge of wildland fire or emergency management, or have much time to devote to regular meetings about wildland fire.  It is a good sign that all of the federal members of this new WFEC have the word “fire” in their titles.

It is interesting that the International Association of Fire Chiefs, an organization that primarily concentrates on structural fire, will have a seat at the table. As we have pointed out earlier, they appear to have an extremely close relationship with some of the federal wildfire agencies. One might expect that a non-government organization that is dedicated to wildland fire would be a member instead of a structural fire outfit.

UPDATE @ 8:57 a.m. MT, February 17

Wildfire Today has been informed that the “Wildland Fire Executive Council” has been in existence for three to four years, and has been conducting meetings unofficially. The legalese in the Federal Register when the council was officially announced this week is interesting:

In accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, and with the concurrence of the General Services Administration, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture are announcing the establishment of the Wildland Fire Executive Council (WFEC).

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

3 thoughts on “Establishment of the Wildland Fire Executive Council”

  1. The Fire Executive Council has in fact been meeting formally for several years. What is new about this version of the council is that state and local representation is heavily beefed up. The purpose of the council is to assist WFLC in the implemenattion of the Cohesive Strategy.

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