Fire Ecology - Minimizing Impacts
On all wildland fire management actions, use of Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics is the policy of the National Park Service.
MIT is not intended to represent a separate or distinct classification of firefighting tactics but rather a mind set of how to suppress a wildfire while minimizing the long-term effects of the suppression action. When the term MIT is used in this document it reflects the above principle.
Suppression actions on all wildfires within Point Reyes National Seashore protected wilderness will be those having a minimum impact on the physical resources associated with each site. In so doing, the principle of fighting fire aggressively but providing for safety first will not be compromised.
The key challenge to the line officer, fire manager and firefighter is to be able to select the wildfire suppression tactics that are appropriate given the fire's probable or potential behavior. The guiding principle is always least cost plus loss while meeting land and resource management objectives. It is the second part of this statement which must be recognized more than it has in the past. Appreciation of the values associated with wilderness has been more difficult to articulate but, nevertheless, are important. As this recognition emerges, actions must be modified to accommodate a new awareness of them.
These actions, or MIT, may result in an increase in the amount of time spent watching, rather than disturbing, a dying fire to insure it does not rise again. They may also involve additional rehabilitation measures on the site that were not previously carried out.
When selecting an appropriate suppression response, firefighter safety must remain the highest concern. In addition, fire managers must be assured the planned actions will be effective and will remain effective over the expected duration of the fire.
It is important to consider probable rehabilitation need as a part of selecting the appropriate suppression response. Tactics that reduce the need for rehab are preferred whenever feasible.
See also the related topic of BAER - Burned Area Emergency Response.
The Resource Advisor (READ) guide is intended to be used as a tool by resource advisors in the event of a suppression incident at Point Reyes National Seashore. This document contains recommended guidelines for fires within the Point Reyes National Seashore jurisdictional area.
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