Over the past four decades, the average area annually burned in wildfires in the United States has roughly quadrupled. Larger, more powerful wildfires increasingly threaten inhabited areas as well as vital infrastructure, including many installations of the United States Armed Forces. This article first introduces readers to what wildfire is and the unique challenges it creates to the environment, health and, specifically, to the Department of Defense (DoD). Next, it discusses the dominant approaches to addressing the wildfire threat, prescribed fire and mechanical treatment. It then summarizes the primary laws, policies and partners involved in wildfire policy in the United States as applied to the DoD. Finally, it proposes a statutory solution, the Building Resilience Up Now for Defense (BURND) Act, that would improve the wildfire resilience of the DoD and communities hosting DoD installations in important ways, thus enhancing our national defense.

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