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National Wildfire Coordinating Group

National Interagency Fire Center
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NWCG Executive Board


NWCG Chair signature of Aitor Bidaburu


October 22, 2012


Request for Final Review – Interagency Prescribed Fire Planning and Implementation Procedures Guide

The NWCG Fuels Management Committee and Fire Use Subcommittee have reviewed and revised the Interagency Prescribed Fire Planning and Implementation Procedures Guide, July 2008 (Rx Guide) based on comments generated from the July 2011 interagency review process.  All comments were analyzed by a task team and incorporated as appropriate.

The Rx Guide provides standardized policy, specifically associated with the planning and implementation of prescribed fire, and describes minimal interagency acceptable requirements for all phases of a prescribed fire for federal signatory agencies.  However, federal agencies may choose to provide additional standards and policy direction per agency policy.

Comments generated from the July 2011 process brought about the following changes:

  • Incorporated Lessons Learned based on current research and review comments.  It was important for clarification and the continued success of the prescribed fire program. Lessons learned are identified by being in a box, so as not to be confused with policy guidance.
  • Element 2 – Changed the Agency Administrator Go No Go Checklist to the Agency Administrator Ignition Authorization and clarified its intent and use.
  • Element 7 - Prescription – clarified that in some cases spatial fire behavior modeling may be needed/desirable to establish the prescription window, holding, and contingency plans.
  • Element 17 – Contingency Plan - Clarified intent and flexibility when using Management Action Points.
  • Element 18 – Changed from Wildfire Conversion to Wildfire Declaration and revised the criteria for declaring a wildfire reflecting the changes to Element 17 and the 2009 federal fire policy implementation guidance.
  • Reviews – Changed based upon Anne Black’s Joint Fire Science Program study on learning from escaped prescribed fires.
  • References – Updated References.
  • Added the following sections:
    • Refreshers
    • Appendix C – Basic Smoke Management Practices
    • Added Appendix D – Contingency Planning Aids as a complement to the changes in Element 17 and 18
    • Added Appendix E – Lessons Leaned Center Review Submission Guidelines.

The Subcommittee is interested in your agency and bureau comments on the revised Rx Guide.  To facilitate compilation of comments, please use the attached template – Rx Guide Revision Response Form (Attachment A).  We would like to request one response from each agency that incorporates your agency comments to ensure that comments submitted are in line and supported by your agency.

Tribes should provide comments to their Regional Fuels Specialist.

Please provide your consolidated agency and bureau comments no later than January 7, 2013 to either Paul Langowski, U.S. Forest Service, plangowski@fs.fed.us, or Kim Van Hemelryck, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, kim_vanhemelryck@fws.gov.

This memorandum, the Rx Guide, and the Revision Response Form can be accessed electronically at http://www.nwcg.gov, under Quick Links on the right hand side of web page.

For any questions or further information please contact Paul Langowski, U.S. Forest Service, plangowski@fs.fed.us, at (303) 275-5307 or Kim Van Hemelryck, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, kim_vanhemelryck@fws.gov, at (208) 387-5957.

Attachment A:  Rx Guide Revision Response Form

cc:   NWCG Program Management Unit (PMU)
NWCG Budget Advisory Unit (BAU) Chair
Roy Johnson, OWF Deputy Director
Rod Bloms, OWF Program Analyst
Brit Rosso, LLC Center Manager
Jim Hutton, Fire Management Committee Chair
Paul Langowski, Fire Use Subcommittee Member
Kim Van Hemelryck, Fire Management Committee Member


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