Partnership announces 2017 Wildfire Mitigation Awardees

Individuals, organizations honored for exemplary commitment to community wildland fire protection

WASHINGTON (January 17, 2017) — The Wildfire Mitigation Awards committee has announced the 2017 Wildfire Mitigation Award winners. Established in 2014, the awards are the highest commendation for innovation and leadership displayed by individuals and organizations committed to wildfire mitigation.

The Wildfire Mitigation Awards are sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the USDA Forest Service (USFS).

Recognizing the comprehensive challenge posed by wildfires, these awards applaud the outstanding dedication to wildfire mitigation across a broad spectrum of activities and among a variety of individuals and organizations. By honoring their achievements, the award sponsors seek to increase public recognition and awareness of the value of wildfire mitigation efforts.

The winners of the 2017 national Wildfire Mitigation Awards are:

  • Ann Hogan (Town of Riverview, Wisconsin)
  • Bob Betts (Prescott Area Wildland Urban Interface Commission, Prescott, Arizona)
  • Brianna Binnebose (Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands)
  • Bryan Schaffler (USDA Forest Service)
  • Chief Walton Daugherty (City of Helotes Fire Department, Helotes, Texas)
  • City of Borger, Texas
  • Heather Campbell (Pollock Pines Fire Safe Council, Pollock Pines, California)
  • Jim Tencza (FireWise of Southwest Colorado, Bayfield, Colorado)
  • Joanne Drummond (Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, Grass Valley, California)
  • John T. Mele (Snowmass Wildcat Fire Protection District, Snowmass Village, Colorado)
  • Pete Padelford (Blue Lake Springs Homeowners Association, Arnold, California)
  • Rebecca Samulski (FireWise of Southwest Colorado, Dolores, Colorado)
  • Santa Fe Fire Department - Wildland Division (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
  • Yarnell Fire Mitigation Cooperative (Yarnell, Arizona)
“State forestry agencies see firsthand that it is always wildfire season somewhere in the United States. State Foresters are grateful to the 2017 Wildfire Mitigation Awardees, many of whom are involved in wildfire mitigation efforts year-round. As Americans live with the threat of catastrophic wildfire, it is increasingly important for wildland-urban interface communities to identify and mitigate wildfire risks. The Wildfire Mitigation Awardees illustrate how advanced preparations can help ensure a safer and more rapid response should a wildland fire threaten their community,” said Bill Crapser, Wyoming State Forester and President of the National Association of State Foresters.

“Congratulations to this year's National Wildfire Mitigation Award winners for their outstanding contributions to wildland fire risk reduction in their communities,” said Chief John Sinclair, IAFC President and Chairman of the Board. “More than ever, wildland fire is a serious threat to life and property in the United States. On behalf of the IAFC, I commend this year's awardees for their innovation, leadership and commitment to safe communities.”

“The National Fire Protection Association is pleased to recognize the significant impacts these individuals and groups have made in reducing wildfire risks,” says Cathy Prudhomme, manager of NFPA’s Firewise Communities/USA® program. “Destructive wildfires are a reminder about the value and importance of risk reduction efforts. These awards are an important way to honor the proactive projects being done throughout the nation.”

“People across the nation are quietly going about the work of reducing community risk from wildfire. These awards are meant to recognize some of their outstanding efforts and to stress the important work they do. Their effort helps residents, communities, and firefighters live more safely with wildfire,” said Pam Leschak, National WUI Program Manager for the USDA Forest Service.

Awards will be presented at the IAFC Wildland-Urban Interface Conference (WUI) in Reno, Nevada on March 22, 2017.

National Association of State ForestersAbout the National Association of State Foresters
The National Association of State Foresters represents State and Territorial Forester interests by influencing forest policy and leading efforts to optimize social, economic, and environmental benefits of trees and forests. Learn more at www.stateforesters.org.

About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
International Association ofr Fire ChiefsThe IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous response, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more at www.iafc.org.

About the United States Forest Service
United State Forest Service logoThe mission of the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. The agency also has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 900 million forested acres within the U.S., of which over 130 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

Media Contact: Amanda Cooke, State Foresters: +1 202 624-5417