Wildland Fire Management

Forestry & You

The health and sustainability of the South’s forests are dependent on effective wildland fire management.

State forestry agencies are responsible for protecting 94% of the South’s total land area from wildfires.

The South experiences more wildfires per year than any region in the United States. In 2022, 56% of all wildfires reported in the nation occurred in the South. The region is also home to three of the top four states in the nation with the most Wildland Urban Interface (where homes near nature are more at-risk to wildfire).

Wildfires here are inevitable – It’s not a question of if, but when. State forestry agencies and partners are coordinating across boundaries to develop resilient forests and communities – while protecting life, property and natural resources from the threat of wildfire.

Reducing Wildfire Risk

Wildfire Risk Reduction

We are leaders in the application of prescribed fire

The South is known for being a leader in the safe and strategic application of prescribed fire, or “good fire.” Prescribed fire is one of the most efficient and low-cost ways to reduce wildfire risk in the South. By regularly conducting low-intensity prescribed burns, which mimic nature, the buildup of flammable vegetation and overgrowth is reduced and kept at bay. As a result, future wildfires that come through after a prescribed burn are likely to be smaller, easier to control and less dangerous. Other fuel reduction techniques include thinning and mulching. Wildfire risk reduction operations are especially important in areas where homes and businesses exist near nature, otherwise known as the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI).

By applying these methods regularly, especially in areas of high wildfire risk, future wildfires will be smaller, easier to control and less dangerous for both wildland firefighters and the communities they protect.

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Cohesive Wildland Fire Management

Addressing the complexities of today’s wildfire management issues

The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (Cohesive Strategy) was adopted in the South and across the nation to address the complexities of today’s wildfire management issues.

The Cohesive Strategy is a strategic push to work collaboratively among multi-jurisdictional stakeholders to restore and maintain landscapes, ensure communities are ready for wildfire and build partnerships to improve wildfire response.

Learn more about shared stewardship and the implementation of the Cohesive Strategy in the southeast region in our collection of Cohesive Strategy Success Stories from across the South.

Southeastern Cohesive Strategy

Wildland Firefighting and Emergency Response

Suppression tactics and equipment

In the South, state forestry agencies mobilize wildland firefighters, specialized bulldozers, wildland fire engines and even hand crews to fight wildfires.

Air Operations

Aircraft are used to help locate new wildfires, monitor wildfire status, and provide an “eye in the sky” to improve wildland firefighter safety.

Incident Command

Staff working on wildfire incidents are trained to work within a scalable incident command structure called the Incident Command System (ICS).

Incident Deployments

State forestry agencies deploy personnel, crews, equipment and aircraft to wildfires, emergencies and major disasters.

Southern Area Coordinating Group

The Southern Group of State Foresters serves as a guiding member on the Southern Area Coordinating Group.


Community Wildfire Defense Grants

Wildfire Risk in a Changing Environment

Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (SouthWRAP)

Guidebook for Prescribed Burning in the Southern Region

Southern Wildland Fire Strategy

National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

Southeastern Cohesive Strategy Success Stories

Southern Area Coordination Center (SACC)

National Interagency Coordination Center

National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Fire Adapted Communities

Fire Adapted Learning Network

Ready, Set, Go!

FireWise USA®

Targeted Audience Messaging Within the Wildland-Urban Interface

Human influences on forest ecosystems: the southern wildland-urban interface assessment

Tire Safety

Safecar.gov info sheet

Tire Information