Skip to main content
Toddi A. Steelman, Caitlin A. Burke
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Hot Topic(s):
Fire Policy & Law

NRFSN number: 16882
Record updated:

Beginning in 2000, wildfire policy in the United States shifted from focusing almost exclusively on suppression to embracing multiple goals, including hazardous fuels reduction, ecosystem restoration, and community assistance. Mutually reinforcing, these policy goals have the potential to result in an ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable wildfire policy that can mitigate the long-term risk of wildfires for human and ecological communities alike. Six years into this new policy, we evaluate the evidence to determine how well the multiple goals are being served. We conclude that suppression and hazardous fuels reduction receive greater attention and resources relative to ecosystem restoration and community assistance. This provides an incomplete solution to mitigating the long-term risk of wildfire, thereby running the risk of perpetuating it.


Steelman TA, Burke C. 2007. Is wildfire policy in the United States sustainable? Journal of Forestry 33: 67-72.

Access this Document