News Release

Babbitt and Glickman Suspend Federal Prescribed Fire Policy that Allows Prescribed Burns

May 12, 2000 -

Babbitt and Glickman Suspend Federal Prescribed  Fire Policy that Allows Prescribed Burns Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman

today announced the 30-day suspension of federal prescribed fires west of the 100th meridian, and are requiring increased levels of approval for such prescribed fires.  The decision to suspend the policy was prompted by the tragic fire at the National Park Service's Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, New Mexico.  

 "Our top priority is to put this fire out and move expeditiously with the recovery efforts for the families that have lost homes," said Babbitt.

 "This suspension is being instituted immediately and may be extended beyond the 30-day period. Certain exceptions may be granted with national-level approval to address high priority mitigation efforts in very low-risk areas," said Glickman.  

Prescribed fire is the term used for occasions when a fire is deliberately set, under carefully controlled and monitored conditions.  The purpose is to remove brush and other undergrowth which can provide fuel for naturally occurring fires.