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Richard D. Stratton
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Risk assessment

NRFSN number: 20870
Record updated:

SUMMARY: For more than a century in the US we have been suppressing fires, with unexpected and undesirable outcomes particularly in fire adapted and dependent ecosystems. Fires are increasing in size and duration, resulting in substantial loss of life and property. It is time for a different approach in wildland fire management. National policy mandates that federal agencies focus on the protection of life, property, and resources by a risk-based and shared-stewardship approach while leveraging emerging technologies.

An emerging concept is strategic wildland fire management planning (SWFMP), focusing on preseason, fire season, and postseason planning and implementation to aid fire managers, decision makers, and operations to be more successful and safer. Techniques scale together and include the use of Potential Control Locations (PCLs), Potential Operational Delineations (PODs), and wildfire risk assessments. Both the challenges and benefits of these approaches are demonstrated and an example of their use is shared from the Pacific Northwest.


Stratton RD. 2020. The Path to Strategic Wildland Fire Management Planning. Wildfire 29 (1): 24-31.

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