On June 3, 2024, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland issued a joint memo to federal agency leaders with wildfire responsibilities outlining their vision and goals for managing wildland fires this year. The Secretaries’ memo highlights fire management investments from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, as well as other strategic priorities to reduce wildfire risk; restore ecosystems; engage in post-fire recovery; support the wildland fire workforce; and make communities more resilient to fire.

In their message to agency leaders, the Secretaries emphasized that their teams are incorporating the newly updated National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy into their Departmental policy to provide a uniform framework for wildfire response and risk mitigation efforts. The Cohesive Strategy guidance is intended to help strengthen partnerships and better enable the Department of the Interior and Department of Agriculture to work across jurisdictional boundaries to tackle the challenges posed by climate change and increasing wildfire activity.

The Departments are further transforming their approach to wildland fire management using recommendations from the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission. Created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and composed of representatives from federal agencies; state, Tribal and local governments; and representatives from the private sector, the Commission submitted its final report to Congress last fall. It included 148 recommendations aimed at shifting our wildland fire response from reactive to proactive, building sustainable and long-term solutions, and creating communities and landscapes that are more resilient to wildfire.