Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology
Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology, or FUSEE (pronounced “FEW-zee”), advocates an end to making “warfare” on wildfire. The well-meaning but misguided notion of “fighting” forest fires is obsolete: we are not really fighting flames–we are fighting forests, and the collateral damage on soils, streams, vegetation, and wildlife habitat in America’s public wildlands is taking an unacceptable toll. At the same time, taxpayers are spending billions of dollars on suppression, with much of that money spent on futile, environmentally-destructive and ecologically counterproductive actions that put firefighters at unnecessary extra risk.
Instead of reactively fighting against fire, we support proactively working with fire to protect rural communities, preserve fire-dependent species, and restore fire-adapted ecosystems. By wisely using fire in a philosophy of Ecological Fire Management, we can maximize the social and ecological benefits of fire while mitigating firefighter risks, minimizing taxpayers costs, and avoiding suppression impacts on natural resources and ecosystems.
FUSEE members and supporters are current, former, and retired wildland firefighters, fire managers and scientists, fire educators and students, and other concerned citizens. We engage in public education, media outreach, and policy advocacy that promotes safe, ethical, ecological fire management on public wildlands. We strive to inform and empower fire management workers and their citizen supporters to become torchbearers for a new paradigm in fire management.
Inspired by the great Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic, FUSEE promotes a new Fire Ethic: “A thing is right when it contributes to the safety of firefighters and the public, ethical use of public resources, environmental protection of fire-affected landscapes, and ecological restoration of fire-dependent ecosystems. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” Safe, ethical, ecological fire management is achievable when we stop the endless, unwinnable war against Nature’s fire and relearn to safely work and sustainably live with wildland fire.