The Mission of the BIA, Branch of Wildland Fire is to execute its fiduciary trust responsibility by protecting lives, property and resources while restoring and maintaining healthy ecosystems through cost-effective and creative fire management programs, collaboration and promoting Indian Self-determination.
To carry-out this mission, the Branch Budget Office dispenses wildland fire management funding to 12 BIA Regional Offices that are responsible for distributing funding to the agencies and tribes they oversee.
The Branch manages a $200 million dollar budget, which supports five wildland fire accounts; Preparedness, Wildfire Suppression, Hazardous Fuels Reduction, Burned Area Emergency Response and Rural Fire Assistance.
These accounts play a significant role in carrying out BIA’s wildland fire management trust mission.
- Preparedness – Through appropriate planning and coordination, this funding pays for activities that lead to a safe, efficient and cost-effective fire management programs that support land and resource management objectives. More specifically, these funds build, sustain and improve the capability to protect against, respond to and recover from wildland fire incidents.
- Suppression – Funding for all work that goes towards extinguishing or confining a wildfire, beginning with its discovery.
- Hazardous Fuels Reduction – The Hazardous Fuels Reduction Program provides funding to projects that remove or reduces accumulations of vegetation (fuels) that would otherwise contribute to rapid fire spread and extreme fire behavior; thereby assisting firefighters in protecting lives, property and resources.
- Burned Area Rehabilitation (BAER) –The BAER Program addresses stabilization and rehabilitation of post wildland fire problems to protect public safety and prevent further degradation of the landscape. Emergency stabilization and burned area rehabilitation are part of a holistic approach to addressing post wildfire issues which also includes suppression activity damage repair and long-term (>3 years) restoration.
The Branch Budget staff work with four Department of Interior budget offices, the Office of Wildland Fire, the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, Washington, D.C. Budget Officers and BIA Regional Offices to: formulate, justify, administrate and execute national policy related to budgets and finances. The unit works with the bureau administrative payment team to ensure casual employees and businesses are paid in a timely manner for their emergency support efforts.