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Interagency wildfire agreement: Federal and Idaho agencies partner up

Federal and state agencies sign an interagency agreement to better respond to wildland fires in Idaho through cooperation and enhanced coordination.

BOISE, Idaho — Federal and state agencies reach an agreement and develop a partnership to enhance response efforts to wildland fires in Idaho.

On Tuesday, six agencies signed the Idaho Master Cooperative Wildland Fire Management and Stafford Act Agreement - an agreement serving as an interagency framework for wildfire response.

"There is a long-standing partnership between the state of Idaho, Forest Service and Department of Interior in how we respond to fires within the state," said USDA Forest Service Intermountain Regional Forester Mary Farnsworth. "This agreement strengthens this relationship."

According to the Idaho Department of Lands, the agreement not only provides the foundation for how the agencies will combine their efforts, but it also creates a contemporary model for the sharing of resources, simplifies business processes and aligns applicable core missions.

The agreement will create a clear understanding and ensure mission alignment for wildfire preparedness across Idaho by outlining how participating state and federal agencies will cooperate and coordinate their response to the fires.

"Coordination among the agencies with a wildfire response jurisdiction is critical. Together, this agreement will help us better serve and protect the public and natural resources of Idaho," said Idaho State Forester Craig Foss.  

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Idaho Associate State Director Peter Ditton said that the agreement helps delegate tasks and responsibilities to the agencies, and details how resources are to be distributed.

"This agreement provides for a balanced and fair method for engaging wildland fire between all the agencies," said Ditton.

Participating state and federal agencies include: The Idaho Department of Lands; the Department of the Interior - Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Indian Affairs; along with the Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 

"As we address the wildfire threat in Idaho, this agreement will help to guide our efforts that will truly make a difference in the outcomes when wildfire occurs on our landscapes," said USDA Forest Service Northern Regional Forester Leanne Marten. 

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