Road-side sign warning of wildland fire danger



AR-330: All Risk Strike Team/Task Force Leader (4 days) 
February 24- 26, 8 AM  - 5 PM 
February 27, 8 AM – 12 PM
This course contains generic curriculum regarding tactics and strategy as it relates to the management of a strike team or task force and meets the S-330 training requirements for the position of Strike Team/Task Force Leader-All Risk. 
Course Prerequisites: I-300 and S-290
Registration Fee Early Bird (before 1/23) $250|After 1/23 $275

L-580: Leading in Crisis: Strategic Leadership in Catastrophic Events (3 Days)
February 25 – 26, 8 AM  - 5 PM 
February 27, 8 AM – 12 PM
This 2 and a 1/2 day instructor led training provides a rich learning experience for those involved in setting strategic direction for large scale events. Participants will engage in valuable exercises and return to their organizations with new tools and better equipped for complex incidents in the future. At the conclusion of this training, participants will earn the NWCG Certificate for L-580.  
Participants should be senior incident managers, senior leaders of emergency response agencies, public utilities and other critical infrastructure; leaders in the agency administrator role, elected officials and appointees who would likely be involved in setting the strategic direction of a large-scale event. 
To be considered for participation in L-580, you must complete a course enrollment request. Request forms are available at IAFC Academy.  Log into and/or create an IAFC Academy account, under Course Catalogue, search L-580. Include your experience and the highest ICS position you currently hold. Submissions will be reviewed by the training team, and notifications sent via email.
Registration Fee Early Bird (before 1/23) $1600| After 1/23 $1600

Assessing Structure Ignition Potential from Wildfire (2 Days)
February 25 – 26, 8 AM  - 5 PM 
The Assessing Structure Ignition Potential from Wildfire training workshop will help you identify hazards and reduce risks in the home ignition zone before a wildfire starts.  Recent fire science research on embers and fire spread has led to greater understanding of how wildland fires ignite homes. By understanding how Wildland Urban Interface fires occur and by applying new approaches, future fire disasters can be significantly reduced.
Pat Durland, Instructor, NFPA
Registration Fee Early Bird (before 1/23) $225| After 1/23 $250

Developing, Implementing and Sustaining a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (2 Days)
February 25 – 26, 8 AM  - 5 PM
In this third and final module of the National Fire Academy’s Wildland-Urban Interface: Fire Adapted Communities course, students will learn the fundamentals of a CWPP, how to obtain approval of the plan, essentials of plan implementation, and key elements to help ensure the sustainment of the CWPP.  Students will explore the concept of strategic change, and apply change management principles to the CWPP process as they develop their draft plan.
Patti Blankenship, Technical Advisor, U.S. Fire Administration
Included in Full Conference Registration

The Emergency Service Road Map to Health and Wellness: A Revision of the NFPA 1582 Guide
February 27, 8 AM – 3 PM
Learn about how FSTAR and the IAFC’s Safety, Health and Survival Section evaluated, updated and transformed the original 1582 guide into The Emergency Services Road Map to Health and Wellness based on firefighter medical survey results. FSTAR Health and Wellness focuses on firefighter physicals, partnerships with medical providers specializing in NFPA 1582 and researchers working on advancements in firefighter health and safety.
Richard Miller, Program Manager, IAFC
Included in Full Conference Registration

Fire Department Exchange
February 27, 8 AM – 3 PM
The Fire Department Exchange Program is an in-person exchange that is designed to address the need for continued mitigation efforts regarding the growing risk of wildland-urban interface fire. The exchanges allow representatives from different departments to share best practices, discuss challenges, and gain insight from one another. Typically, a three-day exchange, this mini 7-hour exchange will feature the FDX Steering Group, and the IAFC’s Wildland Fire Policy Committee members who will facilitate productive large and small group break-outs and other activities revolving around on-the-ground efforts of fellow departments. Discussions will cover topics such as fuel management, community outreach, wildfire regulation, planning, and effective response. Participants of this Eexchange will not only come away with ways to improve their Wildland Fire Program, but also gain access to a large network of Wildland Fire SME’s.
Amber Wells, Program Manager Community Solutions, IAFC
Included in Full Conference Registration

What’s New in the WUI – Firewise USA™ Mitigation Data Collection and NFPA Wildfire Update
February 27, 1 – 3 PM
Join the National Fire Protection Association in this interactive conversation about their work in capturing resident risk reduction data, professional development, insurance engagement, and international wildfire outreach.  Learn how a recently launched portal is providing data on fuel removal quantities; actions homeowners are doing to improve their home’s chances of survivability; and the types of educational activities residents are doing to encourage wildfire preparedness at more than 1,400 sites nationally.
Michelle Steinberg, Wildfire Division Manage, NFPA; Cathy Prudhomme,  Firewise Program Manager, NFPA;  Lucian Deaton,  Project Manager, Wildfire Division, NFPA
Included in Full Conference Registration


Tuesday, February 27

Opening General Session 3 - 4:30 PM
Collaboration Across Boundaries - A Policy Perspective on the State of Wildland Fire
Chief Christiansen will open the conference with a discussion on the current state of the wildland fire community including restoring and maintaining landscapes, building fire adapted communities and enhancing wildland fire response.  She will bring her perspective from the nation’s capital and communicate opportunities at the ground level to engage in the national discussion and how cohesive strategy principles can be carried out on the ground. Additionally, she will address current administrative and Congressional discussions that may impact the wildland fire community.
Vicki Christiansen, Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry, USDA Forest Service

Wednesday, February 28

General Session 8 AM – 9:15 AM 
Large 2017 Wildfire
This session will explore one of the more influential fires from 2017.The presenter will discuss the conditions leading up to the fire, the tactics used to fight the fire, the management decisions made during the fire and lessons learned that can be utilized by others going forward.

Breakout Sessions 9:30 - 10:30 AM 

FAC 101: Scaling Up - How to Take Local Fire Adapted Community Activity Regionally
We will discuss the development of the Appalachian RC&D FAC Coalition started in 2017 that attracted attention from the US Forest Service regional office which provided funding to “scale up” and spread FAC regionally in the Appalachian Mountain chain from northeast Georgia through western North Carolina and into Southwestern Virginia. To achieve this spread, the Appalachian RC&D FAC Coalition is made up of 6 RC&D Councils; 1 in Georgia, 4 in North Carolina, and 1 in Virginia who cover the Appalachian Chain. The Appalachian RC&D FAC Coalition will serve as the mechanism to spread the FAC concept to communities at risk from wildfires in the Appalachian region. Working in concert with the Forest Service to match priorities on nearby federal land, these communities can leverage actions and build joint priorities to reduce risk and enhance community and homeowner responsibility.
Frank Riley Jr., Executive Director, Chestatee/Chattahoochee RC&D Council

OS 201: Developing Remote Firefighter Capability Down Under
Working with over 400 volunteers to enhance the remote area firefighting capability in New South Wales has been met with great success. They are helicopter winch qualified and deployed to remote fires across the state and recognized across the country as leaders in the field. In the 2016 fire season our largest out of state deployment occurred during the Tasmanian wildfires, with NSW RFS remote area volunteer firefighters working in Tasmania for three months. These volunteers fly ahead of wildfires and extract people who may be caught in the path of the fire. These skills have also been used during flood operations and earlier this year they undertook 31 helicopter flood rescues during the floods in Northern NSW. 
Rebel Talbert, Assistant Commissioner, New South Wales Rural Fire Service

WFP 301: Evacuation Form and Function – How much is Art, and How Much is Science?
This presentation will integrate wildland urban interface evacuation modelling with discussions based on experience as to what seems to work and what doesn’t. The panel will explain the research entitled, “Modeling Requirements for an Open‐Access Multi‐Physics Approach to Planning of Urban Evacuations Caused by Wildfire Disasters”, recently conducted by NFPA and funded by NIST. It is built upon the fact that a wildland fire is an unplanned and uncontrolled fire spreading through vegetative fuels at times involving structures. But there is no guarantee that these past experiences correlate with the next disaster to be faced. The toolkit could predict how the evacuation develops based on different fires spreading at a range of speeds and directions and different evacuation decisions (e.g., staggered evacuation by neighborhoods, arrangement of traffic flow on highways, or the appearance of congestion).
Moderator, Dave Driscoll; Fire Chief, CA Dept. of Forestry & Fire Protection; Panel: Daniel Gorham, P.E., Research Project Manager, NFPA Research Foundation; Dr. Steven Gwynne, Research Officer, National Research Council Canada; Justice Jones, Wildfire Division Manager, Austin Fire Department; Capt. Jerry McAdams, Wildfire Mitigation Coordinator, Boise Fire Department

Breakout Session 11 AM - 12 PM

FAC 102: Partnering to Promote Prevention: Fire Departments, Agencies, and Insurance Carriers
USAA has partnered with several local fire departments including San Antonio Fire Department and state agencies such as Texas A&M Forest Service to promote homeowner wildfire education and mitigation. When insurance agents and carriers are actively involved in local efforts to promote fire adapted communities, it ensured that state agencies, local fire departments, and the homeowner’s insurance provider are speaking with a unified, consistent voice in communicating risk to communities.
Rob Galbraith, Director of Property Underwriting, USAA; Logan  Scherschel, Texas A&M Forest Service; Brian Stanush, Captain, San Antonio Fire Department

OS 202: High-Risk Integrated Wildfire Response
Kittitas County Washington has instituted integrated response protocols that are implemented when fuels and weather present an increased risk for large wild fires. The protocols have, to date, resulted in a significant decrease in the size and severity over the last 5 years. The presentation will focus on interagency partnerships. 
Rich Elliott, Deputy Fire Chief, Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue

WFP 302: Integrating the Community Wildfire Protection Plan and Hazard Mitigation Plan
This presentation will highlight the benefits of integration and steps communities can take to integrate their current NHMP and CWPP. Examples on how local communities integrated their CWPP and NHMPs from the Pacific Northwest will be presented, as well as the experience from state and federal agencies.
Brett Holt, Community Planning Program Manager, FEMA; Tyre Holfetlz, Idaho Office of Emergency Management; Susan Cleverley, Mitigation Section Chief, Idaho Office of Emergency Management

General Session 1:30 – 3:30 PM
Chimney Tops 2: Gatlinburg 2016
On November 23, 2016 the Chimney Tops 2 fire was discovered in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, over the next 5 days the fire continued to grow in extremely difficult terrain. On November 28, with extreme fire weather conditions and a wind event called "Mountain Wave," the fire left the park and entered the multiple communities in Sevier County. Outside the park boundary, the winds downed power lines igniting additional fires which merged with the Chimney Tops 2 fire and would eventually burn over 2,500 structures, injuring hundreds and resulting in 14 fatalities. Officials from the respective interagency community will share lessons learned from this historic wildland fire event, which was the largest and most destructive fire in the park and Sevier County. 
Jimmy Isaacs, Chief, Boone Fire Department

Breakout Session 3:45 - 5:15 PM

FAC 103: Local Level Cohesive Wildfire Strategies
The National Cohesive Strategy provides the first comprehensive guidance on addressing all three components of an effective wildfire adaptation strategy. Although the development of the NCWS provides a common platform for addressing community risk, its only truly effective if implemented at the local level. The presentation will highlight communities working to implement the NCWS at the local level. 
Paul Cada, Wildland Program Administrator, Town of Vail; Justice Jones, Program Manager Wildfire Mitigation Division, Austin Fire Department; Ben Garret

OS 203: Wildland Urban Interface, Managing the Reality
This session will explore several fires that occurred and impacted WUI and discuss the importance of leadership and experience in the process. Although no one size fits all approach is the tactical or strategic holy grail, understanding key traits and learning from past experiences goes a long way in operational success.  
Craig Daugherty, Fire Chief, San Juan County Fire Department; Rich Cowger, Fire Chief, Columbus Fire/Rescue; Justin Green, Captain, Loudoun County Fire & Rescue

WFP 303: Building Costs and Risk Modeling to Reduce Community Wildfire Risk
Research outcomes of two recent projects will be discussed. We will first describe the cost of constructing a home built to ember-ignition-resistant standards, and then discuss using risk modeling to identify wildfire risk at the community scale. Researchers will co-present alongside community members to explain how these research findings work to bolster community understanding and improve land use planning to reduce wildfire risks. 
Kimiko Barrett, Research & Policy Analyst, Headwaters Economics; Steve Quarles,  Chief Scientist, Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety; Greg Dillon, US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station

5:30 - 7 PM

Fire Adapted Communities Networking and Awards Reception
The 5th Annual networking reception brings the movers and shakers of Fire Adapted Communities together to compare notes, exchange ideas and learn from each other in a relaxed atmosphere. Join us for a great evening of networking and the opportunity to recognize the Ready, Set, Go! National award winners.

Thursday, March 1

Breakout Session 8 – 9 AM

FAC 104: READY, SET, GO!  - A Florida Partnership in Public Safety Preparedness
The Florida Ready, Set, Go! program is truly an interagency partnership designed to help educate Florida residents and visitors about wildfires and the RSG program . The program has had its ups and downs but RSG  is catching on and interagency partnerships and cooperation have been a key part of its success. The RSG steering committee developed an RSG guide specific to Florida and assisted in the development of a Florida specific RSG video and RSG kit. The video, kit and guides were funded through a USFS redesign grant obtained by the Florida Forest Service. 
Ronda Sutphen; Program Administrator, Florida Forest Service; Judith Tear, Mitigation Specialist, Florida Forest Service

OS 204: Planning by Polygon, Visual Planning Tools for the Wildland Urban Interface
The City of Boulder has a long history of Wildland Urban Interface threat.  The city has developed a unique way of planning for wildland urban interface planning.  The Structure Protection Plan was developed to rapidly convey information about values at risk, defensible features, initial tactics, logistical support, ICS organization, and evacuations during initial and extended attack.  This extensive preplanning allows for rapid collaboration, ordering of resources, standardized nomenclature and a better common operating picture.  This plan uses extensive visuals to help rapidly convey complex information.  This plan was successfully implemented on the Flagstaff Fire in 2012 and Sunshine Fire in April of 2017. 
David Zader, Fire Management Officer, City Of Boulder Fire Department

WFP 304: FEMA Wildfire Hazard Mitigation Assistance in the Wildland-Urban Interface
What’s new in FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance program to address the wildfire hazard?  Students will learn about fundable activities addressing wildfire mitigation and post-fire flooding, the recent FEMA focus on post-fire flood reduction, and new efficiencies in the environmental planning and historic preservation (EHP) process. Presenters will also share new tools developed to assist applicants seeking funding assistance through the HMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grants and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).  
Nicole LaRosa, Senior Policy Specialist, FEMA; Patricia Blankenship, Technical Advisor, U.S. Fire Administration

Breakout Session 9:15 – 10:15 AM

FAC 105: Make Your Community Wildfire Ready: IAFC Wildland Fire Programs Panel
Through a variety of programs and initiatives the IAFC Wildland Fire Programs provides guidance and resources to fire departments and stakeholders seeking to make their communities wildfire ready. During this panel, representatives of the Ready, Set, Go! Program, Fire Department Exchange and the Wildland Fire Policy Committee will share valuable insight into the opportunities available and lessons learned from each of these initiatives. Attendees will be updated on new mitigation grant funding, available training programs, leadership opportunities and additional resources.
Amber Wells, Program Manager Community Solutions, IAFC; Jennifer Dietz, Program Manager Community Solutions, IAFC

OS 205: Whole Community Approach to Prepardness and Response 
The people and the community of the Rincon Band of Lusieno Indians have been directly impacted by wildfire since 1914. In 2003 and again 2007 the community was devastated by horrendous wildland fires. As a result, the Rincon Fire Department supported by the community took a whole community approach to mitigation and abatement.  We took a unique and collaborative approach to providing a protective envelope to the community in which we serve with specific awareness and response to culturally sensitive areas of the reservation.  This plan includes; fuels reduction in concert with community members and regional partnerships with area fire service agencies. The fuel reduction plan assured that the potential of historical fire behavior was reduced and or mitigated using data driven identification of risk models. The response plan included enhanced response with significant GIS mapping, geo-fence based notifications and re-population plans. The land and all aspect of the land are vital to the health and longevity of the Tribal Nation and in alignment with native customs. With this in mind, we developed an all-risk approach to protecting our community. 
Edward Hadfield, Fire Chief, Rincon Fire Department

WFP 305: Reducing Fatigue on the Fireline
Firefighter fatigue is a real issue on the fireline and research to help overcome or at least lesson has been ongoing. Come learn about some of the latest research where glutamine was ingested before and after two consecutive days of firefighting exercises in a heated chamber.  Thermal stress and fatigue were measured, along with blood antioxidants. Glutamine ingestion before firefighting simulations reduced fatigue between bouts. Glutamine may support recovery during repeated work bouts leading to improved work performance and safety. 
Micah Zuhl, Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico, Department of Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences

Closing General Session 10:30 - 11:30 AM

Arizona on Fire - 2016 and 2017 Fire Seasons
While 2016 was a long fire season in Arizona, early 2017 did not offer any break. Across the landscape and across political boundaries, the fires showed no mercy. Several of the largest fires burned for months and in addition to the impacts on the ground, smoke enveloped much of the state and surrounding states. The state forester will talk about the seasons as a whole, the factors that lead to the extreme conditions as well as case study a few of the larger fires to give insights into both strategy and tactics. 
Jeff Whitney, Arizona State Forester


Learning From Each Other: A Practitioner's Workshop 
This practitioner's workshop will bring together members of the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (FAC Net) to explore the roles that different organizations play in fire adaptation in their communities. This half-day workshop will focus on relationship building between network members and staff, and sharing different models of FAC engagement and peer-to-peer learning. This session is open to FAC Net members. If you are not currently a FAC Net member, you may apply on the Fire Adapted Network website prior to the WUI conference.
Emily Troisi, Program Associate, Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network; Wendy Fulks, Director, Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network

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.