2016 Wildfire Mitigation Awards

Read the criteria and guidelines for the Wildfire Mitigation Award. Photo credit: http://stateforesters.org/mitigation

On September 22, 2015 the National Association of State Foresters, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the USDA Forest Service and the National Fire Protection Association announced that they are seeking nominations for the 2016 U.S. Wildfire Mitigation Awards. Criteria are available online, and the deadline for submissions is November 6. Here is an excerpt from the press release: “Established in 2014 in response to an overwhelming number of great wildfire mitigation program efforts across the nation, the Wildfire Mitigation Awards are the highest national honor one can receive for outstanding work and significant program impact in wildfire preparedness and mitigation. The Wildfire … Continue reading

Fire Adapted Communities at the Colorado Wildland Fire Conference

Jon Bruno from the Coalition for the Upper South Platte talking about their work during the evening poster session.

Last week I had the opportunity to go to the 2015 Colorado Wildland Fire Conference in Snowmass. This conference was packed with speakers who covered topics ranging from Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs), to what it takes to create fire adapted communities, to the realtor’s perspective on wildfire, and more. The hardest part of the conference was trying to choose which session to go to because the agenda was stacked with interesting and informative concurrent sessions. One of the conference sponsors was FAC Net member organization Firewise of Southwest Colorado. I think one of the unique things about the conference was that … Continue reading

Best Practices for Designing Peer Learning Exchanges

Firefighters from Boise, Idaho and Austin, Texas during a 2015 FAC learning exchange. Photo Credit: Wendy Fulks

The Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network and the Fire Learning Network sponsor several different types of in-person learning exchanges. The most recent quarterly webinar for FAC Net members featured three presentations about the benefits of in-person learning exchanges. Speakers also discussed design considerations and lessons learned. One common theme was the importance of advance planning. In addition, all three presentations stressed the fact that all participants have knowledge to contribute to, as well as to gain from, the learning experience. Visit our YouTube channel to view the three presentations: Part 1 focuses on prescribed fire learning exchanges (TREX). Part 2 is … Continue reading

Potlucks and Sparkplugs: Firewise Success Catches on in Upper Cow Creek

Defensible space surrounds the Pack residence on Upper Cow Creek Road. Photo Credit: Marcus Kauffman

Written By: Marcus Kauffman, Biomass Resource Specialist, Oregon Department of Forestry Editors Note: A version of this post was first published on the Southwest Oregon Fire Blog (ODF Southwest Oregon).  Southern Oregon is wildfire country. In the last five years about one-third of the 325,000-acre Tiller Ranger District on the Umpqua National Forest has been blackened by wildfire. As of September 6th, the Stouts Creek Fire had already burned 26,452 and was near wrapping up at 98 percent containment. Locals here know about living with wildfire. They have learned that adapting to wildfire means getting to know your neighbors and that potlucks are the … Continue reading

A Month in the Working Life of One Fire Adapted Communities Practitioner

Kernan Fire, Montezuma County , CO. August 18th, 2015. Photos courtesy of the Tres Rios BLM Office.

Written By: Rebecca Samulski, Montezuma County Coordinator, FireWise of Southwest Colorado Have you ever wondered what fire adapted communities practitioners do on a daily basis? This post includes a glance at how I mentor volunteers and create new advocates for wildfire preparedness as the Montezuma County Coordinator for FireWise of Southwest Colorado. On many Tuesday mornings I meet a few volunteers for a Firewise coffee break. We reflect on the work they’ve been doing in their neighborhoods, share ideas, and make a list of what I can help them with. Last week I was fortunate to have new company—a brand … Continue reading

Appalachian RC&D Coalition

USFS Region 8 Forester Tony Tooke & Towns County FAC Coalition.  Photo courtesy of: CCRC&D Council.

Written by: Frank Riley, Executive Director, Chestatee/Chatahooche RC&D Council. The Chestatee/Chattahoochee Resource Conservation and Development Council (CCRC&D) is a non-profit organization located in northeast Georgia that covers the thirteen counties in that corner of the state. Included in the working area are the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are part of the Appalachian mountain chain that stretches north from Georgia. The CCRC&D Council has always been on the forefront with projects and programs that bring new ideas and businesses to the citizens that it serves. In 2013, CCRC&D was chosen as one of the original eight pilot hubs for the Fire … Continue reading

Prescribed Fire Barriers – Widespread Challenges with Regional Flavors?


This coming October, my colleagues and I will be hosting a prescribed fire training exchange here in northwestern California. This will be our third annual event, and we have a solid roster that includes a full spectrum of experienced fire practitioners. We will be burning in areas that have been severely impacted by this season’s wildfires, including my hometown of Hayfork, where the Fork Complex threatened neighborhoods and other important community infrastructure only weeks ago (see Michelle Medley-Daniel’s blog from August 25). The training exchange will bring prescribed fire crews and resources to places that sorely need them. To me, the connection … Continue reading

Photos Capture the Faces of the Fork Complex Wildfires

firefighter mural in hayfork

Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network coordinating team member Michelle Medley-Daniel recently wrote a wonderful post for our blog about the realities of living in Hayfork, California during the Fork Complex fires and what it is like to live surrounded by smoke. The fires around Hayfork got national attention, including two features by National Geographic. National Geographic photographer Mark Thiessen wrote a story for National Geographic and featured the faces of the firefighters of the Salt Lake Unified Fire Authority crew, a type two fire crew responding to the Fork Complex fires. Mark Thiessen wrote another first-person account that took the readers on a journey with … Continue reading