The Southwest Coordinating Group this week released an updated guideline for fighting wildfires in the “Wildland Urban Interface” and for structural protection.
“SWCG’s first and foremost intent is to protect human life (i.e. keep our firefighters and the public safe),” states the June 17 memo sent to Southwest Agency Administrators, incident commanders and zone chairs.
“Secondly, once firefighter and public safety has been established, firefighting responders and resources will work aggressively to keep any wildfire away from structures and communities.
“All strategies and tactics will be based on this intent; fully understanding we will not be able to protect structures in every situation.
“Management of risk to responders, fire behavior, resource availability, and other critical factors will all dictate and/or contribute to the appropriate strategy/strategies implemented.”
The memo was sent to the Arizona State Forestry Division, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, New Mexico State Forestry Division, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service.
The memo concludes stating: “Wildland fire resources across the Southwest generally do not have the responsibility per policy as well as the the capability and training to perform structure fire suppression actions.”