Today the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a new report with recommendations for modernizing wildland firefighting to protect America’s firefighters.

PCAST is the sole body of advisors from outside the federal government charged with making science, technology, and innovation policy recommendations to the President.

The report focuses on the role that science and technology can play in supporting our wildfire first responders who risk their lives protecting the American people, infrastructure, and communities.

PCAST recommends:

  • Agencies across the government work with urgency to identify, assess, and deliver to firefighters the advanced technologies that will improve situational awareness on the scene of active fires.
  • Additional funding in the President’s Budget for wildland fire response, specifically to ensure integration and sustainment of both existing and new technologies to address shortfalls in wildland firefighter communications, connectivity, and technology interoperability.  
  • The expansion of research community access to archived satellite data from defense and other government sources to accelerate improvement of predictive AI tools for modeling wildfire spread.
  • Utilizing existing and newly developed advanced uncrewed aerial vehicles and other autonomous systems to increase situational awareness for wildland firefighters and expand our nation’s wildfire response.
  • The establishment of a joint agency executive office to spur development and deployment of wildland firefighting science and technology, with both the authority and the organizational capacity to drive improvements in firefighting technology and cross-agency interoperability.

PCAST’s report also urges a collaborative and cohesive approach across the federal, state, and local levels in assessing existing technologies available within the federal arena, the private sector, and allied nations.

To view a full copy of the PCAST report please click here.

To view PCAST’s Letter to the President and the Executive Summary of the report please click here.


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