Fire Policy

The National Park Service (NPS) mission is to protect and preserve the lands it manages for the enjoyment of future generations. Guided by this mandate, the fire management program focuses on restoring and maintaining natural processes associated with fire, while protecting human life and property. To help in achieving these long-term goals, the NPS has a comprehensive fire management program including hazardous fuels reduction, prescribed fire, wildland fire for resource benefit, and wildland fire suppression. The following policies guide the NPS in their fire management activities.

NPS Directors Order 18 - Wildland Fire Management (DO-18) 1998
Director's Order-18 incorporated the 1995 Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy and Review by 1) institutionalizing within NPS the new policies, organizational and operational relationships, and changes in law and reporting requirements reflected in the report, and 2) establishing a framework by which the NPS will implement the report's principles, policies, and recommendations.

NPS Reference Manual 18 - Wildland Fire Management 1999
The major guiding document for fire management in the NPS, RM-18 is a technical discussion of wildland fire management requirements and procedures that provides detailed definitions and expanded guidance of all information presented in DO-18. Among other subjects, contents of RM-18 include guidance for safety, planning, qualifications, wildland fire and prescribed fire management, monitoring, and incident evaluation and review.

NPS Management Policies 2006
This volume of NPS Management Policies is the basic service-wide policy document of the NPS, superseding the 1988 edition. It provides NPS management and staff with clear and continuously updated information on NPS policy (including wildland fire) and required and/ or recommended actions, as well as any other information that will help them manage parks and programs effectively.

National Fire Plan 2000
A cooperative, long-term effort of the USDA Forest Service, Department of the Interior and the National Association of State Foresters to manage the impact of wildland fire.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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