43 U.S.C. § 1748b-1 Wildfire Technology Modernization

LibraryUnited States Statutes
Edition2023 Edition
CurrencyCurrent through P.L. 118-19 (published on www.congress.gov on 10/06/2023)
Citation43 U.S.C. § 1748b-1

(a) Purpose

The purpose of this section is to promote the use of the best available technology to enhance the effective and cost-efficient response to wildfires-

(1) to meet applicable protection objectives; and

(2) to increase the safety of-

(A) firefighters; and

(B) the public.

(b) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Secretaries

The term "Secretaries" means-

(A) the Secretary of Agriculture; and

(B) the Secretary.

(2) Secretary concerned

The term "Secretary concerned" means-

(A) the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to activities under the Department of Agriculture; and

(B) the Secretary, with respect to activities under the Department of the Interior.

(c) Unmanned aircraft systems

(1) Definitions

In this subsection, the terms "unmanned aircraft" and "unmanned aircraft system" have the meanings given those terms in section 44801 of title 49.

(2) Establishment of program

Not later than 180 days after March 12, 2019, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall establish a research, development, and testing program, or expand an applicable existing program, to assess unmanned aircraft system technologies, including optionally piloted aircraft, across the full range of wildland fire management operations in order to accelerate the deployment and integration of those technologies into the operations of the Secretaries.

(3) Expanding use of unmanned aircraft systems on wildfires

In carrying out the program established under paragraph (2), the Secretaries, in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, State wildland firefighting agencies, and other relevant Federal agencies, shall enter into an agreement under which the Secretaries shall develop consistent protocols and plans for the use on wildland fires of unmanned aircraft system technologies, including for the development of real-time maps of the location of wildland fires.

(d) Location systems for wildland firefighters

(1) In general

Not later than 2 years after March 12, 2019, subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretaries, in coordination with State wildland firefighting agencies, shall jointly develop and operate a tracking system (referred to in this subsection as the "system") to remotely locate the positions of fire resources for use by wildland firefighters, including, at a minimum, any fire resources assigned to Federal type 1 wildland fire incident management teams.

(2) Requirements

The system shall-

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