Wildfire Science Strategy Released by U.S. Geological Survey

Wildfire Science Strategy Released by U.S. Geological Survey

On February 23, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) rolled out its first science strategic plan to help guide the agency’s wildland fire science for the next five years. USGS fire science provides managers the new knowledge, data, and tools to promote cost-effective and informed fire management. The expectation is the strategy will help guide research that can be used by land managers to reduce wildfire risks before a fire starts, respond appropriately to fires when they happen, and then address the impacts after a fire is out.

“Now is the time to act, and USGS science is leading the way,” said David Applegate, USGS Associate Director exercising the delegated authority of the USGS Director. “This new fire science strategy provides the roadmap for developing the research, data and technologies that are critically needed to help the country better face future wildfire challenges.”

The Strategic Plan is composed of four integrated priorities, each with associated goals and specific strategies for accomplishing the goals: Priority 1: Produce state-of-the-art, actionable fire science; Priority 2: Engage stakeholders in science production and science delivery; Priority 3: Effectively communicate USGS fire science capacity, products, and information to a broad audience; and Priority 4: Enhance USGS organizational structure and advance support for fire science. The priorities of this Strategic Plan define the USGS’s commitment to producing and delivering cutting edge fire science, information, and decision-support tools in support of national, regional, and local priorities and stakeholder needs.

“Cutting-edge research and multidisciplinary teamwork are key to better understanding and addressing wildfire challenges in the 21st century,” said Anne Kinsinger, Associate Director for USGS Ecosystems. “Scientists from different fields – fire ecology, hydrology, geology, remote sensing and botany – are pooling their expertise to evaluate wildfires, linking initial fire behavior to post-fire hazards and applying that information to ecosystem recovery.”

March 15, 2021