Decision Reference Guide


Decision making for wildfires: A guide for applying a risk management process at the incident level" Has recently been completed and made available. It has been published as a General Technical Report (GTR) by the Rocky Mountain Research Station and is available in Adobe PDF format only and is available for download here

The publication focuses on the thought processes and considerations surrounding a risk management process for decision making on wildfires. The publication introduces a six element risk management cycle designed to encourage sound risk-informed decision making in accordance with Federal wildland fire policy, although the process is equally applicable to non-Federal fire managers and partners. The identified risk management process describes and illustrates the following:

The goal is for decision makers to apply principles from this publication to specific decision documentation structures such as the Wildland Fire Decision Support System (WFDSS) or other wildland fire decision documentation systems.

Nothing in the publication establishes, alters, or substitutes for policy, nor does it establish any additional requirements or standard practices for Federal agencies. Rather, the purpose of this publication is to assist fire managers, resource specialists, and agency administrators in developing and communicating timely and sound risk management-based decisions for managing wildfires. The process described in this publication is consistent with the Federal fire policy for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service; and the U.S. Department of the Interior (USDOI), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), National Park Service (NPS), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Other agencies (state, local, and nongovernmental) may find this publication useful in applying the risk management process to wildfire decision making within the requirements and framework of their own agency policies and procedures. This publication can also aid in decision making with their Federal partners.

Full Citation: Taber, Mary A.; Elenz, Lisa M.; Langowski, Paul G. 2013. Decision making for wildfires: A guide for applying a risk management process at the incident level. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-298WWW. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 59 p.