October 20, 2015

Newsletter #37


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Resilient Landscapes
Fire Adapted Communities
Safe and Effective Wildfire Response
In this issue:
WFLC meets in the historic Penthouse of the Interior Building in Washington, DC.  Photo: Kate Lighthall

Wildland Fire Leadership Council Meets in DC

As the national leadership for the Cohesive Strategy, the WFLC met on October 6th to confirm their top four priorities for action over the next 18 months: Smoke Management and Air Quality; Reducing Risk to Communities; Large Landscape Collaboration; and Environmental Compliance. The group will be focusing on actions that the group can take as a whole and as individual WFLC members at the national level to help facilitate Cohesive Strategy actions at the local landscape level.  Read more here
Jim Wills and Rick O'Rourke participate in the 2015 Klamath River Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) 
in northern California.  Photo: Mid Klamath Watershed Council.


 Collaboration Pays Off with
Acres Treated and Training

With 75 participants from 15 organizations and dozens of individual volunteers, the Klamath River Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) lit off its latest event September 30 - October 10th. All three goals of the Cohesive Strategy were demonstrated as outcomes of the multi-community, 1,000 acre event.  Read and see more here.    
Local news coverage of the Nevada Summit.

Nevada Stakeholders Create Statewide Cohesive Strategy Effort

State, Federal, county, local and non-governmental stakeholders met September 30th to discuss the wildland fire issues across Nevada at the Community Protection, Resilient Landscapes and Effective Fire Response: A Summit on Nevada's Collaborative Approach to the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Strategy. The focus question of the event was, "What opportunities might exist in Nevada to further accomplishments around landscapes, communities and response?" 
Read more here.
"Urban Interface" by Jennifer Gunlock.  Photo: Coconino Center for the Arts.

Fires of Change

The Coconino Center for the Arts is hosting "Fires of Change" - an exhibit that runs through the end of October in Flagstaff, Arizona. The exhibition explores, through the eyes of artists, the increase in severity, size and number of wildfires in the Southwest and their impact on the landscape.  
This is a terrific example of bringing partners together to better educate communities about the realities of living in a fire adapted ecosystem and how local collaborative efforts help build fire adapted communities. More here


Jack Cohen, the USFS researcher who brought us the original notion of defensible space, 
kicked of the Colorado Wildland Fire Conference.  Photo: FAC Network.

Fire Adapted Communities in Colorado 

Designed to provide the framework for becoming a Fire Adapted Community, the Colorado Wildland Fire Conference welcomed anyone “wishing to learn more about how they can reduce their community’s vulnerability to wildfire.” Presentations were informative and engaging, and delivered to a diverse audience, from insurance agency representatives to firefighters and land managers. See more here
Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley provide support for the Central Oregon Cohesive Strategy Initiative. 

Multi-County Cohesive Strategy
Initiative in Oregon

Stakeholders across five counties in Central Oregon have come together under the umbrella of the Cohesive Wildland Fire Strategy in agreement to collaborate across jurisdictions and boundaries toward managing fuels, protecting homes, communities, and safely and effectively responding to wildfire. 

Along with the more typical stakeholders noted above, the group includes a variety of non-traditional stakeholders including city and county planning departments, local developers and even the local beer brewing industry. "Good water makes good beer," said Joe Stutler, lead advisor for the Initiative. Read more here.

"Evacuees" meeting at the Pagosa Springs Fire District Station.  Photo: Bill Trimarco.

From Adversaries to Believers


A decade ago, the community of Loma Linda near Pagosa Springs, Colorado was not too friendly toward the idea of mitigation. Over the last few years however, residents there have learned from their close calls with wildfires and taken a more proactive approach. Adding to their list of successful efforts including a shaded fuel break, reflective address signs, chipping days for defensible space debris and Firewise Communities/USA recognition, the community partnered with the local fire district and law enforcement to host a mock evacuation drill based on a fast-moving fire moving through their subdivision scenario. The drill was extremely valuable to all participants. Read the full story here.  

In support of Creating Fire Adapted Communities, we will
be featuring highlights from the FAC Net blog in each newsletter.   

Upcoming Learning Opportunities

October 28-29, 2015 - Restoring the West Conference, Logan, Utah. 

Through October 31, 2015 - Fires of Change - A Science and Art Collaborative at the Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff, AZ.   
November 9, 2015 - Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities - 2nd Annual Conference, Reno Nevada.    

November 16-20, 2015 - 6th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress in San Antonio, TX.  Registration open now!

March 8-10, 2016 - IAFC's Wildland Urban Interface Conference in Reno, NV.   

April 11-16, 2016 - 5th International Fire Behavior & Fuels Conference. "Wicked Problems, New Solutions: Our Fire, Our Problem" will be held concurrently in Portland, OR and Melbourne, Australia.  
Articles and information from around the West that demonstrate collaborative efforts and meaningful progress towards Resilient Landscapes, Fire Adapted Communities and Safe & Effective Wildfire Response.

Contact:  Kate Lighthall, WRSC Coordinator:

Copyright © 2015 Western Regional Strategy Committee.  All rights reserved.   

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