According to the USDA Forest Service - “The USDA Forest Service is the largest wildland firefighting force in the world. More than 10,000 highly-trained Forest Service firefighters are ready to respond to wildfire with hand tools, engines, aircraft, and leading-edge technology. The Forest Service could not respond effectively to fires without its partners. Federal, tribal, state and local agencies are fire line allies on wildland fires across the country.” (Source: USDA Forest Service)
The USDA Forest Service response process spans frommonitoring controlled fires that benefit the ecosystem to directly combatting fires that pose a threat to people and/or resources, while placing the highest priority on safety.
The federal government provides active firefighting support for fires on state and private lands (in addition to the previously discussed FMAG through FEMA) in two ways. The first, used during an emergency, consists of fire suppression forces and equipment provided at a state’s request and coordinated through the National Interagency Fire Center. States work with the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior to allocate reimbursements.
The second is through direct financial assistance for state fire protection efforts, funded through the Forest Service’s State Fire Assistance Program. This program provides funds directly to state-approved state and local rural forest fire protection organizations to enhance their firefighting capacity, conduct mitigation activities that reduce property loss and wildfire fuel levels, increase public awareness, and develop fire plans and citizen-driven solutions in rural communities. (Source: USDA)