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.
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.
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.
The Secretaries, in consultation with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Secretary of Commerce, shall establish and maintain a database, to be known as the “Rapid Response Erosion Database” (referred to in this subsection as the “Database”).
The Secretary concerned shall use the Database, as applicable, in developing recommendations for emergency stabilization treatments or modifications to drainage structures to protect values-at-risk following a wildland fire.
The Secretaries may share the Database, and any results generated in using the Database, with any State or unit of local government.
The Secretaries, in consultation with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Secretary of Energy, and the Secretary of Commerce, through the capabilities and assets located at the National Laboratories, shall establish and maintain a system to predict the locations of future wildfires for fire-prone areas of the United States.
The system established under paragraph (1) shall be based on, and seek to enhance, similar systems in existence on March 12, 2019, including the Fire Danger Assessment System.
Not later than 1 year after March 12, 2019, the Secretaries shall use the system established under paragraph (1), to the maximum extent practicable, for purposes of developing any wildland fire potential forecasts.
The Secretaries may share the system established under paragraph (1), and any results generated in using the system, with any State or unit of local government.
The authority provided by this section terminates on the date that is 10 years after March 12, 2019.