Deliver Benefits to the Public

Greening Fire Team promotes ecological resilience during, after incidents

Three contractors sort and bag recyclables collected in color-coordinated bins at base camp.
A contracted recycling vendor gathers recyclables to prepare for hauling them to the local recycling center at the Klondike Fire in Selma, Oregon. Photo courtesy Phil Torchio, Triple Flare Recycling, LLC.

WASHINGTON, DC—As a conservation organization, the USDA Forest Service—along with other fire-related agencies—is well positioned to be on the leading edge of efforts to promote ecological resilience and restoration. These considerations must be accounted for throughout our internal business processes and should be modeled in the communities that we serve. Fire & Aviation Management is committed to integrating such principles through its partnership with the national Greening Fire Team.

The work of the national team comes at a critical time for fire operations in the agency. As fire intensity increases and the fire season becomes increasingly longer, the value of increasing operational efficiency at incidents and throughout the incident supply chain increases. I encourage each of you to follow the important work of the national team and consider how to support its mission.

The GFT was established in 2011 and is comprised of seasonal and permanent employees from across the nation. Its mission is to integrate sustainable operations best management practices into the fire community. The main focus of the team’s work has been to research, recommend and assist with implementation of sustainable practices at fire incidents with a focus on camps. Priority areas include: 1) waste reduction, 2) renewable energy and 3) outreach and education. In March 2017, a partnership between the GFT, previously aligned with the Office of Sustainability and Climate, and Fire Aviation and Management was developed. Since that time, the team has evolved and refined its deliverables to best align with current priorities.

Check out the quarterly bulletin to read about the team’s efforts to increase on-site incident recycling and more.