Road-side sign warning of wildland fire danger

Education

*Courses with asterisks are for National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) certification. A separate registration fee is required for some preconference sessions.

Preconference Sessions

Saturday, March 18

*S-215 (3 days): Fire Operations in the Wildland-Urban Interface
This course is designed to assist structural and wildland firefighters who’ll be making tactical decisions when confronting wildland fire that threatens life, property, and improvements in the wildland-urban interface. Instructional units include interface awareness, size-up, initial strategy and incident action plan, structure triage, structure protection tactics, incident action plan assessment and update, follow-up and public relations, and firefighter safety in the interface.
Course Prerequisites: Qualified as a Firefighter 1 (FFT1).
Rod Collins, OSC 1 GB IMT #2, Division Chief (Ret.), North Tahoe Fire District 

*S-404 (4 days): Safety Officer
This course is designed to meet the training needs of the safety officer type 2 in the incident command system. Topics include safety officer effectiveness, analysis techniques, safety messages, briefings and reports and high-hazard operations.
Course Prerequisites: Qualified as a division/group supervisor (DIVS).
Todd Baumer, Assistant Forest Fire Management Officer, Salmon-Challis National Forest; Joe Nishikida, Captain (Ret.), Reno (NV) Fire Department

Sunday, March 19 and Monday, March 20

*S-215 (3 days): Fire Operations in the Wildland-Urban Interface
This course is designed to assist structural and wildland firefighters who’ll be making tactical decisions when confronting wildland fire that threatens life, property, and improvements in the wildland-urban interface. Instructional units include interface awareness, size-up, initial strategy and incident action plan, structure triage, structure protection tactics, incident action plan assessment and update, follow-up and public relations, and firefighter safety in the interface.
Course Prerequisites: Qualified as a Firefighter 1 (FFT1).
Rod Collins, OSC 1 GB IMT #2, Division Chief (Ret.), North Tahoe Fire District  

*S-404 (4 days): Safety Officer
This course is designed to meet the training needs of the safety officer type 2 in the incident command system. Topics include safety officer effectiveness, analysis techniques, safety messages, briefings and reports and high-hazard operations.
Course Prerequisites: Qualified as a division/group supervisor (DIVS).
Todd Baumer, Assistant Forest Fire Management Officer, Salmon-Challis National Forest; Joe Nishikida, Captain (Ret.), Reno (NV) Fire Department 

CANCELLED: *S-355 (2 days): Ground Support Leader
This course is designed to prepare students to perform the duties of managing the transportation plan, maintenance and related services at an incident. Topics include gathering information about the assignment; organizing, staffing, and laying out the unit; field inspection of equipment; operation and coordination of the unit with other units, and demobilization.
Course Prerequisites: Qualified as equipment manager (EQPM).
Darren Swinney, Firefighter, City of Reno (NV) Fire Department 

*S-270 (2 days): Basic Air Operations
This course covers aircraft types and capabilities, aviation management and safety for flying in and working with agency aircraft, tactical and logistical uses of aircraft, and requirements for helicopter take-off and landing areas. Note: The regulations, procedures and policies addressed in this course are primarily those governing federal agency and ICS operations. State, county, or other political subdivisions using this course will need to consult their agency having jurisdiction with respect to regulations, procedures and policies.
Julian Angres, Conservation Crew Supervisor, Nevada Division of Forestry; Augie Isernhagen, Helitack Supervisor/Battalion Chief, Nevada Division of Forestry; Aaron Reynolds, Helicopter Manager, Nevada Division of Forestry 

Preparing Your Community for Wildfire Resilience – Mitigation Strategies and Tools (2 days)
In this updated second module of the National Fire Academy’s six-day Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI): Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) course, students will learn general risk-reduction strategies and specific wildfire mitigation strategies to address the natural, built, social and response environments; select applicable FAC mitigation strategies to include in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) for their community; identify how technical tools that support development of a fire-adapted community can be used in their localities; and recognize the benefits of cross-walking their CWPP with approved Hazard Mitigation Plans.

This is a 2-day pre-conference session, with attendance at both days required for completion. Also, this is a follow-on course to the pre-conference session USFA delivered at last year’s WUI Conference, but that course is not a pre-requisite for the 2017 conference. A brief review of Module 1 content will be provided at the start of this session.
This presentation has a maximum enrollment of 40 students.
Patti Blankenship, Technical Advisor, U.S. Fire Administration; Keith Richey, Coordinator, Fremont County Emergency Management

Assessing Structure Ignition Potential from Wildfire (2 days)
Previously known as Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone, this workshop will help you to identify hazards and reduce risks in the home ignition zone before a wildfire starts. Recent research has led to a greater understanding of how wildland fires ignite homes. By applying new knowledge of how wildland/urban interface fires occur and by using new approaches, future wildland/urban interface fire disasters can be significantly reduced.

The workshop is designed to (1) provide a basic understanding of fire behavior and structure ignition from wildfires, (2) increase an understanding and competency in wildland /urban interface fire mitigation, (3) provide an understanding of the risk assessment methods based on NFPA 1144: Standard for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire, (4) identify corrective mitigation measures for the resident to implement to reduce the risk of ignition, and (5) provide an understanding of safety measures for new construction and community design, based on NFPA 1141: Standard for Fire Protection Infrastructure for Land Development in Suburban and Rural Areas.
Pat Durland, NFPA Instructor, Principal, Stone Creek Fire, LLC

Tuesday, March 21

*S-404 (4 days): Safety Officer (day 4 of 4)
This course is designed to meet the training needs of the safety officer type 2 in the incident command system. Topics include safety officer effectiveness, analysis techniques, safety messages, briefings and reports and high-hazard operations.
Course Prerequisites: Qualified as a division/group supervisor (DIVS).
Todd Baumer, Assistant Forest Fire Management Officer, Salmon-Challis National Forest; Joe Nishikida, Captain (Ret.), Reno (NV) Fire Department  

Community Wildfire Readiness Education for the Fire Service
Community Wildfire Readiness Education (CWRE) for the Fire Service is a course being developed under the management of the International Association of Fire Chiefs that provides information to help fire departments implement fire-adapted efforts into their everyday practices and planning processes. This course will include modules focused on cohesive strategy, fire service leadership roles in fire-adaptation, risk & safety assessments, community planning, education & outreach, mitigation programs, department organization & training planning, wildland-urban interface (WUI) preplanning, and WUI evacuation planning. This is an interactive preconference session where presenters will provide you with a detailed outlined of the CWRE course and invite your much-needed feedback regarding content relevance and application.
Amber Wells, Program Manager, Community Solutions, International Association of Fire Chiefs

What’s New in the WUI - Updates from NFPA’s Research, Standards and Wildfire Division
Participate in an interactive discussion with staff of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) about what’s new and upcoming in the arena of public preparedness education, professional development, research, and codes & standards for wildfire safety. NFPA’s Wildfire Division and others will present highlights of new training offerings, wildfire research, insurance outreach, and standards development. Bring your ideas for products or services that would benefit your jurisdiction.
Lorraine Carli, Vice President Outreach & Advocacy, NFPA; Janet Ruiz, California Representative - Insurance Information Institute; Tom McGowan, Senior Specialist, Emergency Services, NFPA Public Fire Protection Division; NFPA Wildfire Division Staff

A Grassroots Approach to Fire Adaptedness: Local Success Stories
In this “bonus session” even before the conference officially begins, local community members and others will discuss their approach to building fire adapted communities. They will share stories of how various techniques were effective and how working with other members of the community helped to expand their reach and overall effectiveness in reducing risk.
Ed Smith, Natural Resource Specialist, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension; Elwood Miller, Coordinator, Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities (The Network), University of Nevada Cooperative Extension; Ann Grant, Board Member, Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities; Ryan Shane, Cooperative Forestry and Fire Supervisor, Nevada Division of Forestry; Forest Schafer, Coordinator, Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team; Liz Claggett, Community Leader, Mt. Charleston

Conference Sessions

General Session 1: Wildfire Knows No Boundaries, Do You? A Panel Discussion from Leadership
Join us as we kick off the 2017 WUI conference with a discussion that will highlight the benefits of collaboration across boundaries, addressing both on the ground needs and policy opportunities. A panel of leaders will present provide examples how the three goals of the cohesive strategy are strongest when interwoven, making them all an integral component to a wildland fire operation strategy. The discussion will frame many responsibilities and opportunities for national, regional and local leadership to analyze during and after the conference. Federal and state challenges and solutions will be presented, as well as opportunities for engaged non-governmental organizations, such as The Nature Conservancy, to address landscape-level collaboration and management.
Chris Topik, Director, The Nature Conservancy (TNC); Ken Pimlott, Director, CAL FIRE; Thomas Tidwell, Chief, U.S. Forest Service

Exhibit Hall Open

Welcome Reception
Welcome to WUI 2017! The WUI exhibit hall provides the perfect place to meet with colleagues while learning about new products and services. It’s a great opportunity to learn, network and engage.

Wednesday, March 22

General Session 2: Wildfire in the Canadian Oil Sands and the Impact to Ft. McMurray
The first day of May, 2016, will forever be remembered in Alberta Canada as a day that changed perspectives on the rapid impacts wildfire can have to a community. By the sixth of May, 2400 homes and buildings had been destroyed and the largest evacuation (88,000 people) in Albertan history was in full force. Spreading across nearly 1.5 million acres and into neighboring Saskatchewan, not only were communities impacted, but the oil sands operations had to shut down in many locations due to fire spread. During this general session, understand not only the fire behavior and spread, but what the provincial wildfire management agency has been discussing as to the conditions that led up to May 1 and changes in response or preparedness as a result of reviewing this event.
Paul St John, Wildfire Prevention Officer, Government of Alberta, Canada, Agriculture and Forestry

101: Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire
Learn how communities are using land use planning to reduce the risk from wildfire. The tools of land use planning can include regulatory tools, such as zoning overlays and subdivision regulations, development and design standards, and landscape regulations. Community land use planners, fire marshals, and WUI mitigation specialists will share their experience in passing and enforcing regulations to make the built environment safer from wildfire.
Kimiko Barrett, PhD, Research & Policy Analyst, Headwaters Economics; Molly Mowery, Owner, Wildfire Planning International

201: Leadership Sandtable/SimmTable – Lessons from Type I ICs
Double Session
In this once in a lifetime session, attendees will have the unique opportunity to watch and interact with type I ICs as the ICs go through a virtual staff ride as a sand table exercise. Understand though their learning processes and be able to interact along the way as they help the attendees understand the thought process of these experts in wildfire response.
Joe Stutler, Senior Advisor, Deschutes County (OR); Area Commanders and Type I ICs

301: Cardiovascular Disease Health and Fitness Status in Firefighters: A Call to Act
As a firefighter, every day is an opportunity to make an impact on the public and on our fellow firefighters. But that opportunity goes both ways. The general view from the public is firefighters are healthy. However, sudden cardiac deaths experienced by firefighters in the line of duty account for one of the largest proportion of deaths annually, and the physical fitness of firefighters is rapidly becoming a factor for their reputations as well. This session will provide an overview of the current health and fitness status of firefighters, provide data on the Aerobic Capacity and Body Composition of Urban and Wildland New Mexico Firefighters, and discuss the steps necessary that U.S. Fire Departments can take to enhance the health and fitness status of their own firefighters.
Kelly Johnson, PhD, Professor, Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of New Mexico

Exhibit Hall Open

102: Fire Learning Exchanges in the PNW – What We Learned You Can Too
Through 3 different site visits of fire adapted community pilots across the PNW, each area selected learning objectives they wanted to focus. The focuses included long-term recovery from the fire season, expanding Firewise, prescribed burning across a checkered ownership pattern, expansion (or lessons learned) from the local resilience program, FEMA grants and other local program structures. See key insights into the diversity of FACs in the PNW and learn what they learned.
Allison Green, Project Wildfire Program Coordinator, Deschutes County (OR); Ashley Lara, Fire & Life Safety Specialist, Jackson County (OR) Fire District #3

202: Leadership Sandtable/SimmTable – Lessons from Type I ICs
Double Session

302: Firefighter Safety Through Advanced Research (FSTAR)
The FSTAR project is making research more available to the fire/emergency service and as part of that effort it is translating research into real-world, usable tools. This session will focus on modern fire behavior research and fire dynamics terminology and bring awareness to the science and the tactical considerations that can be used to reduce risk to firefighters operating on structure fires. Learn from the FSTAR team and researchers in the field about the latest findings as well as available training resources and materials.
Dan Madrzykowksi, Research Engineer, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute; Richard Miller, FSTAR Program Manager, International Association of Fire Chiefs

Lunch with Exhibitors

General Session 3: Relationships Matter, the Human Side of Wildland Fire Issues
As a retired fire chief and now executive coach, Chief Baker understands the success of a project can be predicted by the core energy of the team, the team leader and the stake holders. In this session he will educate and entertain as he reviews the ups and downs to collaborative fire risk reduction programs based on the tenants of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy and the IAFC Ready Set Go Program. Attendees will leave with an understanding of team interactions and that “how they show up” can power a group to success.
George Baker, Fire Chief (Ret.), Mashpee (MA) Fire & Rescue

103: Method to Our Madness
Assessing home and property risk in the wildland-urban interface isn’t just about assigning a risk number to a property. It’s about building relationships, connecting to and learning from homeowners, gathering relevant data and then utilizing that data for multiple purposes. The presenters will show home assessment development history and techniques data collected and why, and demonstrate the multiple uses for that data using a SimTable.
Porfirio Chavarria, WUI Specialist, City of Santa Fe (NM) Fire Department; Krys Nystrom, Founder, Wildfire Network 

203: San Diego Risk Determination through Partnerships
In a unique strategic partnership, the City of San Diego – San Diego Fire-Rescue began using San Diego Gas and Electric’s (SDGE) Fire Potential Index in place of the Burn Index. The FPI is a planning and decision support tool to quantify fire potential using state of the art technology. Understand the process of how the FPI was built as well as how it is utilized by firefighters to help make strategic decisions during high-fire potential.
Brian Fennessy, Fire Chief, City of San Diego – San Diego (CA) Fire-Rescue; Brian D'Angostino, Meteorology Program Manager, San Diego Gas and Electric; Danny Zaragoza, Director of Emergency Management, San Diego Gas and Electric

303: Wildland Fire Data Exchange
The session will discuss the importance of providing data exchange capabilities for federal and non-federal agencies between existing applications used to manage data related to wildland fire incidents. IRWIN is focused on the goals of reducing redundant data entry, identifying authoritative data sources, and improving the consistency, accuracy, and availability of operational data.

Essentially a central hub that orchestrates data between the various application, IRWIN allows users to utilize existing applications where some or all of the data needed to create an incident for example, will be pre-populated. Data is synchronized between participating applications to ensure the most current data is available. IRWIN conducts conflict detection and resolution on all new wildfire incidents to support a unique record for each ignition.
Keith Smith, Senior Director, Fire Technical Support, National Association of State Foresters; Rochelle Pederson, Bureau of Land Management – National Interagency Fire Center

Fire Adapted Communities Networking and Awards Reception
Are you part of the effort to make your community more fire adapted? Want to network with your peers and national leadership on Fire Adapted Communities? Then join us at the FAC Reception! In its fourth year, this networking reception bring the movers and shakers of FAC together in a social setting to compare notes, exchange ideas and learn from each other in a relaxed atmosphere. Join us for great networking and the awarding of the Ready, Set, Go! national awards.

Thursday, March 23

104: Fire Department Exchange (FDX)
FDX is a program being developed under the management of the International Association of Fire Chiefs that provides web-based and face-to-face exchange opportunities to departments facing wildfire outreach and mitigation challenges. Members of the FDX Steering Group will share an overview and status update of this exciting new program and inform attendees about future participation and ways they can benefit from the program.
Amber Wells, Program Manager, Community Solutions, International Association of Fire Chiefs

204: Fire Operations in the Swamp
Fire operations differ across the country and among varying ecosystems. This session will explore the unique ecosystem in Southern Florida and how normal transportation options are not a reality. Unique equipment as well as atypical fire operations will be described to give attendees an opportunity to see and hear what many will never experience in person.
John Wallace, Deputy Fire Management Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

304: Business Outreach and Mitigation, Before, During and After a Wildfire
Working through states and local communities, FEMA and grant programs have always played a part in working with local businesses impacted by a wildfire. But recently, examples from several fires and proactive staff show the opportunities have expanded and can serve as a model for understanding both the impact wildfires have on business as well as the importance of helping businesses get quickly back on their feet post-wildfire.
Christina Randall, Wildfire Mitigation Administrator, Colorado Springs (CO) Fire Department

Break

105: Community Mitigation Assistance Teams - Where Are They Now and Where Are They Headed?
The National Forest Service Community Mitigation Assistance Team began its pilot phase in 2015 on the Chelan Complex and continued the pilot during the 2016 fire season. The team is designed to work directly with Forests and Incident Management Teams to help communities implement just-in-time mitigation and to build long-term sustainable mitigation capacity. The team will share lessons learned from deployments and talk about the paradigm change to include community mitigation actions during an incident when smoke in the air raises awareness for action.
Pam Leschak, FAC Program Manager, U.S. Forest Service; Jonathan Bruno, Chief Operations Officer, Coalition for the Upper South Platte; Terri Jenkins, Fire Management Specialist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Forest Schafer, Coordinator, Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team 

205: Rapid Extrication Module (REM) – A Case Study from 2016
2016 was the first season the City of Santa Fe’s REM was a deployable resource. Working closely with the US Forest Service to help meet their needs as well, learn about how the REM was tested in 2016 during the Rough Fire through a deployment. Additionally, understand lessons learned from the fire season and how the REM can be integrated across structural and wildland fire agencies and resource needs.
Jan Snyder, Assistant Chief, City of Santa Fe (NM) Fire Department

305: What a Presidential Transition Means to the Wildland Fire Community
With a new administration comes the potential for new ideas and opportunities for the wildland fire community. And, as the Cohesive Strategy (CS) enters its eighth year, join national CS leaders in this interactive panel session as they share progress and updates on priority national and regional CS implementation efforts, provide insights into the transition in the presidential administration and potential impacts. They will also answer your questions regarding wildland fire initiatives and other concerns, and solicit your feedback on CS activities from national and local perspectives.
Jim Karels, State Forester, Florida Forest Service; Mike Zupko, Wildland Fire Leadership Council; Patti Blankenship, Technical Advisor, U.S. Fire Administration

General Session 4: Blue Cut Fire, Southern California
In San Bernardino County, California, just west of Interstate 15, the Blue Cut Fire ignited late morning, August 16, 2016. Rapidly spreading over the next few days, at the height of the fire there were well over 2600 personnel actively involved in suppression activities. Although not that atypical to other historic Southern California fires that spread rapidly that time of year, some of the challenges dealt with managing the mandatory evacuation of over 80,000 residents and the destruction of over 300 homes and structures. After one week, the fire was contained, though 36,000 acres had been scorched in the Cajon Pass area. Learn not only tactics used on the fire but insights into managing a large-scale mandatory evacuation and other considerations on a wildfire that exhibited massive growth in just the first few days.
Glenn Barley, San Bernardino Unit Chief, CAL FIRE; Josh Boehm, Assistant District Fire Management Officer, Front County Ranger District (CA), San Bernadino National Forest; John Chamberlin, Assistant Chief, San Bernadino County (CA) Fire Protection District; Steven Shaw, Deputy Chief, CAL FIRE

Post-Conference Field Trips and Sessions

Wildland Fire Assessment Program
The WFAP is a joint effort by the U.S. Forest Service and the National Volunteer Fire Council to provide volunteer departments with training on how to properly conduct assessments for homes located in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). This four-part, train-the-trainer course covers understanding the WUI problem, identifying the zones, evaluating the home, and available resources. Students will be able to take this information back to their respective departments and teach personnel how to properly conduct a home assessment to help residents make their property more adapted to wildfire. Students will be provided with a toolkit and supplemental resources.
Ron Roy, Division Chief/NVFC Wildland Chair, Douglas County (WA) Fire District #2

Pre-registration required.

Download WUI conference program details



WUI Gives Me Access

WUI offers an amazing opportunity to work with Chiefs and Fire Management Officers that I would normally not have access to. These individuals were very pleased to speak with me and guide me through discussions at different times during the non-session hours.