U.S. Forest Service Fire Prevention and Control

Fire warning sign being serviced by Ranger Crosby, 1959.

Fire prevention and control efforts have been a part of the work of the Forest Service from the earliest days. In 1908, the Forest Fires Emergency Act authorized the Forest Service to spend whatever necessary to combat the increasing wildfires throughout the country. Fire prevention and control programs immediately began to grow from these funds. The Weeks Law of 1911 marked the beginning of federal-state cooperative fire control programs, and the Clarke-McNary Act of 1924 further increased the amount of federal funds available for fire control. In 1944, Congress tripled the fire prevention authorization under Clarke-McNary, and fire control efforts were again greatly expanded. The U.S. Forest Service Headquarters History Collection features numerous items documenting fire prevention and control efforts from throughout history.

Additional Resources

Browse historic images from the following FHS online photo gallery:

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