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Cooperation and Collaboration in Action

As the Rim Fire was growing into California's 5th largest wildfire in recorded history, USFS Fire – California tweeted “With a Little Help from Our Friends: More than 50 municipal, county, state and federal cooperators assisting us w/ Calif wildfires”. A few days later they tweeted, "firefighters & support personnel from 41 states and the District of Columbia have responded to the Rim Fire." Almost 5,000 people are now working on the Rim Fire plus military assets from the Air Force Reserve, North Carolina Air National Guard, and California National Guard provide aircraft support for suppression operations. Working together and partnering to fight fire and protect people and places is the heart of the Cohesive Strategy.

Action 3.3b. of the Western Regional Action Plan will facilitate cooperation with a national wildland fire qualifications system. As of this writing, there are 28 major fires burning in 7 western states including California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Wyoming. This video highlights the giving spirit, and willingness to lend a hand to those in need, exhibited by America’s wildland firefighters. Watch the video >
U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell met with firefighters at the Rim Fire on Wednesday, August 28.
Anchor Forest Pilot Project
Anchor Forests are working forests that support sustainable long-term wood and biomass production levels. The Anchor Forest Project is funded by the US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region. It is a study of the best strategies for managing forests for sustainable yield across multiple ownerships. The study is led by the Intertribal Timber Council (ITC), and focuses on 3 forests in Eastern and Central Washington owned by the Colville, Yakama, and Spokane Tribes. The project will evaluate the potential for Anchor Forests to retain working forests in the Pacific Northwest. Tribal forests are prime candidates for Anchor Forests because  they have commitments to long-term stewardship, and the Tribes own some of the last operating sawmills. Read more on page 3 of Tribal Relations News >
Kate's Corner

The last few weeks have opened my eyes to the high level of state, federal AND international collaboration in fighting large fires across the West. Canada is lending air tanker support to our firefighting arsenal. This takes integrated wildland fire response to another level. Through coordinated response, working relationships improve efficiencies and effectiveness, even when smoke is not in the air. Lessons learned from the fires of 2013 will help lead to improved local, state, national, and international policies in the Cohesive Strategy spirit of collaboration and working toward common goals.

- Kate

Fuels Treatment Effectiveness
Forest Service fuel treatment effectiveness studies for years 2006-2013 show that the treatments reduced fire behavior and helped suppression efforts over 90% of the time. These pictures show results from Arizona’s Wallow Fire in 2011. Can you tell which are the treated and untreated areas?
What is the difference between these two houses? Firefighters were able to protect the house on the right by burning ground fuels as the fire approached because it was in a treated area and defensible. The house on the left was lost because of the intensity of the fire in the untreated area.
And the difference between these two forest areas along the same road?
Here's a neighborhood protected by a treated area. One house that was contiguous to the forest burned. The houses with defensible space survived.
Upcoming Conferences

September 25-26  Working Together Collaboration for Fire Adapted Communities, Wenatchee, WA
November 12 WRSC Face to Face Meeting, Salt Lake City
November 14-16, Backyards and Beyond, Salt Lake City
Katie Lighthall
Coordinator, Western Region
National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy
Ann Walker
Co-Chair Western Region
Western Governors' Association
Tony Harwood
Co-chair Western Region
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Kent Connaughton
Co-Chair Western Region
US Forest Service

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Copyright © 2013 Western Regional Strategy Committee, All rights reserved.

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