WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the nation braces for what is predicted to be a severe wildfire season in some parts of the country, the Department of Homeland Security?s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is announcing a new '2004 Wildland Update' Web link to help firefighters and community leaders locate important and up-to-date wildland fire information. This new Web page, at www.usfa.fema.gov, features a collection of links to critical wildland Web sites, as well as weather predictions, current aviations strategy, community programs, and a daily 'Six Minute Safety Briefing.'
"This nation still has a majority of the 2004 wildland fire season ahead so it's extremely important that firefighters and residents be able to access the most current information available," said Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. "President Bush and Secretary Ridge are aware of the wildfire danger across the country and are happy to provide this important information source."
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), part of FEMA, has built on the work of other federal, state and local agencies into one source of information. The Web site includes links to the National Fire Plan, FIREWISE, and handbook on "Preparing a Community Wildfire Plan."
"We at the USFA are not wildfire experts, but we desire to serve as the information conduit to the numerous other agencies that regularly post and update excellent wildland information of great value to all firefighters," said Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Charlie Dickinson. "A few minutes exploring the various links at the USFA Web page will definitely enhance firefighter safety and understanding of this problem."
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.