Integrated Fire Management (IFM) is an approach to addressing the problems and issues posed by both damaging and beneficial fires within the context of the natural environments and socio-economic systems in which they occur, by evaluating and balancing the relative risks posed by fire with the beneficial or necessary ecological and economic roles that it may play in a given conservation area, landscape or region.

IFM facilitates implementing cost-effective approaches to both preventing damaging fires and maintaining desirable fire regimes. When fires do occur, it provides a framework for (1) evaluating whether the effects will be detrimental, beneficial or benign, (2) weighing relative benefits and risks and (3) responding appropriately and effectively based on stated objectives for the area in question. Managing beneficial aspects of fires may involve various forms of fire use.

Although Integrated Fire Management is not a new term, IFM — as it is defined by the Conservancy — is a promising, scalable framework that works in places with fire-dependent ecosystems as well as places with fire-sensitive ecosystems. Its effectiveness is not dependent on a country’s development status. The Nature Conservancy is using this framework to address fire-related conservation threats at global, national and local scales.

Download Living with Fire—Sustaining Ecosystems & Livelihoods Through Integrated Fire Management

Integrated Fire Management Components

  • Assessment and analysis of situation and issues
  • Fire management goals and desired ecosystem condition
  • Laws, policy and institutional framework
  • Prevention and education
  • Fire use
  • Preparedness and response
  • Restoration, recovery and maintenance
  • Adaptive management, research and information transfer
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