Annual appropriations to prepare for and respond to wildland fires have increased substantially over the past decade, in recent years totaling about $3 billion. The Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture and four agencies within the Department of the Interior (Interior) are responsible for responding to wildland fires on federal lands. GAO determined what steps federal agencies have taken to (1) address key operational areas that could help contain the costs of preparing for and responding to wildland fires and (2) improve their management of their cost-containment efforts. This testimony is based on GAO's June 2007 report, Wildland Fire Management: Lack of Clear Goals or a Strategy Hinders Federal Agencies' Efforts to Contain the Costs of Fighting Fires (GAO-07-655).
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