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This is not well defined. Dan Bailey, Fire Management Officer of the Lolo National Forest, and a leader of the national wildfire- program, said this of the FY 2000 National Fireplan Funding, “there was no common definition of what constituted a “community at risk.” (Devlin, 2002). The GAO (2003) report on fuel reduction prioritization, excerpting from a USDA-USDI report, claim that the highest levels of fuels buildup correspond to the highest wildfire risk ranking, as follows: (1) High Risk areas are those at risk of damage to soil, vegetation, and water quality from fire; (2) Moderate Risk areas are those with moderate levels of fuels buildup where the role of fire in the ecosystem has been altered, allowing fires to occur less frequently than they did historically; (3) Low Risk areas are those with fire occurrences at frequencies and severities similar to historical patterns. Mark Morris (2000) states, “Fire risk pertains to sources of or causative agents for wildfires. Risk deals with the likelihood or probability of an ignition source. Examples of sources and causative agents include: lightning, equipment use, smoking, campfires, debris burning, railroads and power lines, incendiary or arson and children. … Our Fire Prevention programs comprise our efforts to educate the public and minimize fire risk.”

added by Arthur Brown
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