“The federal wildland fire policy has not changed since 1995. Neither the direction issued last year nor my letter this year represented a shift in Forest Service policy for fighting fires,” USFS Chief Tom Tidwell said in a statement Monday.
“We always look at the conditions that exist around each fire, season, our available resources, and then provide guidance to the field. It takes resources to suppress fires, and to manage them for resource benefits. We do have a set amount of expertise in this country but when we get a wildfire season like we did last year, we have to take some steps to manage just how much fire we can have on the landscape.
“So last year we asked forests to elevate decisions on wildfires to the regional forester. Based on this year’s projections, we no longer see that as a necessary step at this time.
John Heil, spokesman for the Lassen National Forest says there will be no change of policy from previous years on the Lassen. On the Modoc where they do have a limited managed burn policy, the change is that any decision on fires in those areas will be made by the Forest Supervisor and not the regional supervisor.