Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Message from BLM Leadership on the 2013 Fire Season

Photo credit: Northwest Fires, Colockum Tarps fire (July 2013)
The western fire season traditionally peaks in mid-August, and it appears that 2013 will follow that trend. The forecast from BLM’s Predictive Services unit reinforces that we could still experience a high level of fire activity over the next month, and perhaps, extend well into the fall.

We acknowledge the professionalism and hard work of our fire crews, and their peers in other agencies. The work they do is nothing short of amazing. They’re a point of pride for our entire organization. Yet it’s the time of summer when our firefighters may begin to feel the effects of a long season. Fatigue may become an issue. Situational awareness could decline.

It’s a critical time of the year. More than ever in this fire season, we need to be alert, aware of risk, watch out for others, speak up when something seems wrong, get the rest we need, and follow the proper safety protocols. The season may be inching toward its conclusion, but we cannot let our guard down. That’s often when tragedy strikes.

It’s been a tragic and devastating fire year in terms of safety. As of this writing, 30 people have died in the line of duty. Please, let’s join together and recommit to making the remainder of this fire season as safe as possible and ensure, to the best of our ability, that there are no more serious injuries, no more fatalities, and that all of our firefighters and field personnel safely return to their families and friends when the fire season finally comes to an end.

Neil and I both consider the safety of all our employees to be the Bureau's highest priority. We appreciate the remarkable work you do each and every day in support of the BLM. Thank you for your special attention to this important matter.

Steve Ellis, Acting Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management


All agencies are encouraged to share their messages. Send them to for posting.

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