Responding to Wildland Fires
Of the 55 million acres BIA has a trust responsibility to protect, 30 percent have homes intermixed with natural areas. Values at risk include tribal member's homes, forest land, watersheds, pasturelands, game habitat, oil and gas wells and tribal enterprises. BIA's capability to appropriately respond to those wildfires is critical to protecting the people and resources that depend on the land.
BIA maintains a wildland fire engine fleet that numbers over 200 engines, sponsors seven Interagency Hotshot Crews (IHCs), and provides 21aviation assets across Indian Country to protect it's trust assets. Additionally, the BIA sponsors on average over 4,000 call when needed firefighters every year.
BIA Wildland Fire Management Policy
The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program Management and Operations Guide (Blue Book) is a reference that documents policy for management and operations of the BIA Wildland Fire and Aviation Management Programs. Information presented in it is based on current policy and provides program guidance to ensure safe, consistent, efficient and effective wildland fire and aviation operations.
Wildland Fire Safety
Public and firefighter safety is our highest priority in the wildland fire community. Every aspect of the numerous disciplines within fire management has many safety considerations to account for before, during and after an emergency. Providing the best training, tools and skills to keep the field in top-notch condition is what Safety and Health specialists strive to achieve.
Wildland Fire Career Development, Training and Qualifications
The BIA Training Section is an essential partner with other agency training professionals. The mission of the BIA NIFC Training Section is to provide wildland fire training courses and education opportunities to technicians and professionals who occupy fire management positions in Bureau and Tribal programs. To accomplish this, the training program analyzes the needs for training in Indian Country then develops, coordinates and implements wildland fire training programs to meet those needs. The Section also oversees a national cadre of training professionals, curriculum designers, the national qualifications system, and national visual communication products.
BIA Aviation Resources
Almost a third of Indian Country lands are within the wildland-urban interface. When fire threatens homes and valued resources, tribes cannot afford to delay. Providing the safest, fastest, and most reliable aircraft to suppress wildfires is the primary mission for the BIA Aviation program.