Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will make her first visit to the National Interagency Fire Center with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Monday.
The two landlords for most of the West’s public lands will meet with the press to talk about the upcoming fire season and outline the federal government’s efforts to work with state and local governments to protect Americans from wildfire. They will ask people to help prevent wildfires while preparing for fire season.
Vilsack, who is in charge of the U.S. Forest Service, has been to NIFC several times since he became Ag secretary in 2009. Jewell, who is in charge of lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, was only confirmed a month ago.
Fire managers say fire potential is predicted to be above normal in much of the West, including almost all of Arizona, New Mexico, California and Oregon; and portions of Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, and Washington. In 2012, 9.3 million acres of private, state, and federal land, and more than 4,400 structures burned in wildfires.
That was the third highest number of acres burned since at least 1960, the earliest date with reliable records.