This web page is intended to provide a Northeast regional geographic source for guidance and considerations for maintaining continuity of wildland fire response in the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2020 fire year. The plans and guidance posted here are intended to be a central point of reference for those tasked with management of wildland fires in the presence of COVID-19.
Plans and Resources
- Wildland Fire Response Plan COVID-19 Pandemic, Eastern Geographic Area, April 2020. This Wildland Fire Response Plan (WFRP) has been developed to provide guidance and considerations for maintaining continuity of wildland fire response in the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2020 fire year in the Eastern Geographic Area.
- Lessons Learned COVID-19 Wildland Fire Response Plan Assignment, Area Command Teams 1, 2, 3 and Eastern Area Type 2 IMT. the purpose of this report is to document and share lessons learned during this assignment, it also provides some recommendations that may be beneficial to other audiences.
- Wildfires and the Pandemic – What’s Ahead. Written by Chief Bob Roper of the Western Fire Chiefs’ Association – April 1, 2020. This article is intended to assist wildland fire managers in thinking about wildfire contingency planning in the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CDC: FAQs for Wildland Firefighters. Steps that can be taken by wildland fire personnel to prevent infection and spread of COVID-19.
- The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) has updated their guidance on infectious diseases that may occur on a wildland fire incident. COVID-19 and Wildland Fire Operations
- The Fire Management Board (FMB) has provided guidance on how federal agencies with wildland fire responsibilities will make adjustments to annual wildland fire training and physical testing activities this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FMB is a mechanism for coordinated and integrated federal wildland fire program management and implementation. Here is a link to the official memo from the Fire Management Board.
- Forest Service Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates – The Forest Service is taking the risks presented by COVID-19 seriously and is following USDA and CDC public health guidance as we continue to offer services to the public. Visitors to our National Forests and Grasslands are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are three official, government-wide sources of up-to-date information about the coronavirus: Coronavirus.gov, CDC.gov/coronavirus, and USA.gov/coronavirus.
- USDA Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19 Fact Sheet – The U.S. Forest Service has published a three-page fact sheet with information about the impacts of wildfire smoke during the COVID-19 pandemic. It covers the effects of smoke during the pandemic, who is most at risk, symptoms, masks and face coverings, and how to minimize potential health effects from wildfire smoke.
- Updates from the Field – COVID-19 and Fire Season – April 13, 2020 update provided by the USDA Forest Service of collected perspectives from the wildland fire community about current concerns, what is going well, and where they need additional help.
- The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) is continuing to monitor the situation and has set up a Coronavirus Task Force to assist fire departments in planning and responding to COVID-19 issues. The IAFC’s Coronavirus Resource Page has dashboards covering the impact on the American fire service and hosts resources like an e-guidebook for fire chiefs, an infographic regarding best practices for PPE decontamination, and a series of webinars that focus on sharing new information and guidance for how to handle COVID-19 response and recovery.
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) COVID-19 Resources. As an all-hazards information and knowledge leader, NFPA offers a variety of resources that emergency managers, businesses, schools, and health care providers can use to help prepare for, develop or update continuity plans; and protect those who may be vulnerable or exposed to this infectious disease.
- New River Gorge National River (U.S. National Park Service, West Virginia) – Fire COVID 19 Staffing Plan. Staffing levels will be based on National and Eastern Area Planning Levels and the current/predicted NERI NFDRS Fire Danger Rating, which promotes “social distancing” yet ensures that the appropriate level of fire staff is readily available based on current and expected fire weather and fire behavior forecasts and predictions.
- Pennsylvania DCNR COVID-19 Safety Fact Sheet # 5 Wildfire [4/8/2020]. This fact sheet discusses simple things that you can do to keep yourself and others healthy and stop the spread of this virus. Treat everyone as though they are a COVID-19 carrier and every common surface as if it harbors the germs. Remember, one careless person can spread the virus to the whole work unit. It is our responsibility to keep our community and colleagues safe.
- Wildland Fire Response Plan COVID-19 Pandemic, Southern Geographic Area, April 2020. This Wildland Fire Response Plan (WFRP) has been developed to provide guidance and considerations for maintaining continuity of wildland fire response in the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2020 fire year in the Southern Geographic Area (GA).