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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

WFDSS Spring Refreshers in the works

We want to use this space to let you know that we are hard at work creating the Spring Refresher/What you need to know about WFDSS documents for the 2015 Fire Season. As we have in the past, we will be publishing these documents on the WFDSS website (training page) under the Decision Learning Resources section. We will also highlight these documents on the WFM RD&A homepage and will be announcing their arrival to the WFDSS Geographic Area Editors.

Risk Assessment Video Series

A video series called, “Strategic-Level Risk Assessment for Fire Behavior Specialists” is available on the WFDSS YouTube Channel. There are seven videos that explain the role of the FBAN and LTAN in providing and communicating products to inform the risk decision. Topics include the Relative Risk Assessment, an Extended Risk Assessment, effects analysis, and the risk conclusion. A supplement is available HERE to use in combination with the videos or as a stand-alone guide.

You can access the Risk Assessment video series playlist from the URL below:

Improving WFDSS Incident Objectives and Requirements

Examination of wildland fire incident decisions revealed that most incident objectives are written general enough that they could apply to any fire in the country. This makes them of little use to incident management teams in developing strategies and tactics to achieve an agency administrator's intent for managing a specific fire and for agency administrators seeking to clarify the objectives they want accomplished. Similarly, strategic objectives and management requirements, established from forest plans, are the basis for incident objectives and incident requirements but are rarely written with wildland fire specificity. This decreases the likelihood that NEPA-based management direction is adequately implemented on a wildfire or as intended. It also increases the likelihood of additional risk to firefighters with marginal benefit. 
A systematic evaluation of wildfire incident decisions was undertaken during the 2014 fire season, to better understand the situation and recommend solutions. This included site visits to 23 fires and interviews of agency administrators, incident commanders and WFDSS authors. An analysis of all objectives in the WFDSS database as of May 2014 was also conducted. Findings from this work are summarized in the following briefing paper while more explanation and detail can be found in the Improving WFDSS Incident Objectives and Incident Requirements and Relaying Leader's Intent White Paper.
USDA FS Briefing Paper - Wildland Fire Decision Making Incident Objectives & Incident Requirements
White Paper - Improving WFDSS Incident Objectives & Incident Requirements and Relaying Leader's Intent