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10:00 – 11:00 am

F01 – What to do When a Project Fire Burns through a Community That's Becoming 'Fire Adapted' 

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenter: Jolene Ackerman, Wisconsin DNR - Division of Forestry

Spring fire season was mild in Wisconsin in 2013. By mid-May, we were nearing green-up when wildfire’s favorite weather conditions – a warm, dry, windy day – and a spark from a logging operation met to result in the largest wildfire to burn in Wisconsin in 33 years. The 7,500-acre Germann Road Fire burned through two townships in northwest Wisconsin. The ink had just dried on their Community Wildfire Protection Plan and a few hazard mitigation projects had been completed when the fire happened. This session will describe how Firewise recommendations stack up to the results of a post-fire property assessment project and how homeowner interviews and media contacts became assets in getting Firewise preparedness messages out to others.

F02 − Collaboration Creates Successful Firewise® Communities

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenters: Justice Jones, Austin Fire Department, TX; Terri Jenkins, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, GA; Mike Davis, Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, GA; Eric Mosley, Spalding County, GA; Frank M. Riley, Chestatee/Chattahoochee RC&D Council, GA

Collaboration is “Working with others to do a task and to achieve shared goals”. Collaboration, when developing Firewise® and Fire Adapted Communities®, is key to development and sustained growth.  Initial development of a FAC is easy, but making it take root and grow requires collaboration by a variety of people who bring a diversity of skills, contacts, and resources to the table.  Our Collaboration panel consists of Firewise and FAC hub leaders who will share what worked and what did not for them and their plans for “growing” the Firewise and Fire Adapted Communities.

F03 – Wildland Fire Spread with Stationary Burners

Track: Research (Physical, Social, Ecology & Environmental)
Presenter: Daniel Gorham, Associate Engineer, NFPA

Researchers have called for the need for a theory of wildland fire spread (Finney 2013). Measuring time-varying flame properties in spreading fires is difficult because the burning region is moving. Stationary experiments with liquid and gas fuels were conducted to replicate a spreading fire line and the time-varying features of the flame were analyzed using high-speed videography. Results presented include observation of the general flame structure, including streamwise streak spacing and flame fluctuation which relate to instabilities observed in large spreading experiments.

F04 – Land Use Planning and Wildfire in our Communities

Track: Technology, Policy & Regulations
Presenters: Eric Lovgren, Eagle County, Colorado; Molly Mowery, Wildfire Planning International; Tareq Wafaie, AICP, Clarion Associates

Wildfires are necessary, wildfire disasters are not. This session is aimed at giving attendees a better understanding of how smart land use policy and development can reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire loss in their communities. This session will provide an overview of techniques and issues to be considered to reduce wildfire exposure, increase preparedness, and create more fire adapted subdivisions and neighborhoods.

F05 – Big Wildfires Don’t’ Just Happen in the West

Track: Wildfire Planning, Suppression & Operations
Presenter: George Baker, CPC, ELI-MP, Fire and Ice Coaching, Fire Chief (retired), Mashpee, MA

It’s not if, it’s when, or in actuality when again. In this session Chief Baker will review five significant wildfires that have occurred this side of the Mississippi, what has happened since the fire, what steps (if any) have been taken to prevent a re-occurrence and what considerations could be made for the future.

F06 – Growing Firewise® Communities from Awareness to Action

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenters: Dr. Sushama Karmarkar, Parkland at Legends Firewise Community, SC; Steve Moore and Drake Carroll, South Carolina Forestry Commission

Creating awareness of wildfire danger; developing community action plans; motivating and organizing homeowners and community leaders are all necessary steps to conduct Firewise activities in a diverse active senior golf community located in the coastal South Carolina Wildland/Urban Interface (W/UI) with very volatile local bay fuels. Parkland at Legends has partnered with the SC Forestry Commission and Horry County Fire Rescue for a risk assessment and Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). This has been used create an action plan to educate homeowners and mitigate wildfire risks. 

2:15 – 3:15 pm
F07 – The Firewise Communities® Mapping Project

Track: Technology, Policy & Regulations
Presenters: Nick Harrison, State Firewise Liaison, Texas A&M Forest Service; Hylton Haynes, NFPA Fire Analysis Division

Since 2012, NFPA has been actively working with local Firewise Communities and State Forestry agencies to develop location and boundary spatial data for research and insurance purposes.  This presentation explores the impetus behind this initiative and the two spatial data development strategies that were used in California and Texas.

F08 – Beyond the Emergency Assembly Point: Preparedness for Children’s Services

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenter: Jessie Huard, Australian Red Cross Recovery Coordinator, NSW and ACT

Young children are mentally and physically vulnerable during disasters. Although in NSW (Australia) childrens services are required to have and practice written emergency plans and procedures, these plans are not designed to deal with the complex challenges their services face during an event resulting from having responsibility for a large number of children. These challenges were presented during the October 2013 Blue Mountains bushfires. The Red Cross was approached to organize a workshop to increase the preparedness of services for future events. Learn about the workshop’s successful collaborative effort between a range of key partners including local government, children’s services, the community sector and emergency services (particularly the Rural Fire Services).

F09 − Vulnerability of Vents to the Entry of Wind-blown Embers

Track: Research (Physical, Social, Ecology & Environmental)
Presenter: Stephen Quarles, PhD, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) Research Center

Wind-blown embers (firebrands) from wildfires are considered to be the most common cause of building ignition. Embers have the potential to ignite combustible materials located in the enclosed spaces behind attic and foundation vents. The objective of recent research at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) Research Center was to evaluate the vulnerability of common attic and foundation (crawl space) vents to ember entry. The results of these experiments will be presented and discussed, along with recommendations for venting strategies for new and existing buildings.

F10 – Reducing Structural Losses from Wildfire: Are Regulations the Answer?

Track: Technology, Policy & Regulations
Presenter: Cheryl Renner, President, Renner Associates, LLC

When wildfires occur adjacent to communities resulting in the loss of homes, businesses, and community structures, people ask how we might have used knowledge or technology to mitigate such a disaster. Many call for regulations, such as wildfire zoning ordinances and building codes, to make development in high fire risk areas safer. This presentation will review examples of existing regulations, adopted by states and municipalities, which have been effective in motivating homeowners to create and maintain defensible space around homes. Existing model ordinances to reduce structural losses can be modified to address local needs and conditions. Additional concerns such as public acceptance, enforcement and maintenance of reduced fuel conditions will be discussed.

F11 − The Overlooked Interface: Rural Communities and Agricultural Fires

Track: Wildfire Planning, Suppression & Operations
Presenter: Jeremy Keller, Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association

Fires in agricultural fuels share many characteristics with other types of wildland fire, especially grass fires, but also exhibit unique characteristics deriving from the agricultural environment. Because the occurrence of field fires is diffuse across the landscape, they tend to occur "below the radar" from a national perspective. These fires, however, pose a very real threat to life and property in rural communities. This presentation will discuss field fire occurrence and weather patterns in northwestern Ohio since 2001, What observered trends mean for rural communities and fire departments, and mitigation and preparedness strategies to address the threat.

F12 – Wildfire Advocacy - How to Reach out to your Representative

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenter: Cathleen E. DeLoach, Government Affairs, NFPA

This presentation will focus on how to reach out, educate and ask your government representatives (federal, state and local) for assistance in preventing and combating wildfires. With the knowledge learned in this presentation, attendees will learn how to make appointments, meet representatives and plead their case for effective wildfire education.

F20 - Where Do Residents Go and How Do They Go Home?

Track: Wildfire Planning, Suppression & Operations
Presenters: David J. Driscoll, IAFC Wildland Fire Policy Committee; Brian Fennessy, San Diego Fire Rescue, CA; Justice Jones, Austin Fire Department, TX

Are your wildland fire evacuation and re-population plans in order and, more importantly, are your residents aware of them? Join Ready, Set, Go! Program champions to learn about national evacuation statistics and what can be gleaned from them and applied to your plans; evacuation and re-population challenges faced by career, combination, and volunteer fire departments and known smart practices; the importance of interagency collaboration and preparation; and how to reach your community members with this vital information through the use of the Ready, Set, Go! Program. 

3:45 – 4:45 pm
F13 – Capitol Area Firewise Community Alliance

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenter: Josh Anderson and Justice Jones, Austin Fire Department, Texas

The City of Austin and Travis County respectively lead the state in the number of Firewise Communities USA. The Capitol Area Firewise Alliance is an effort to bring the 23 existing communities together to facilitate a learning network amongst existing and prospective FWC USA. Participation in the alliance has facilitated a stronger grass roots component to our larger network of fire adapted communities. The Firewise Alliance helped design and plan our May 3rd Wildfire Symposium and recent Wildfire Hazard Assessment Training (WHAT). The alliance has agreed to serve as the pilot communities for evacuation and incident preplanning in addition to many other initiatives.

F14 −Tailoring the Firewise® Concepts to Your Community

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenters: Paul Ohlenbusch and Daniel B. Dodson, Sun City, Texas

Communities across the country have differing environments in which they exist. A review of the community and surroundings can identify specific needs. Selecting those Firewise components and implementing them can result in a program that the community understands.

F15 − Pathways for Building Fire Spread at the Wildland/Urban Interface

Track: Research (Physical, Social, Ecology & Environmental)
Presenter: Daniel Gorham, NFPA

Learn about pathways for building fire spread at the wildland/urban interface (W/UI) identified through a recent project with the Fire Protection Research Foundation, NFPA’s research affiliate. The talk will cover exposure conditions, including firebrands, radiation and flame contact as well as a structure’s and community responses to these features. The impact of mitigation efforts, including hardening structures, fire fighter response, fuel treatments, community planning and outreach programs such as Firewise will be discussed. The presentation will outline the results of a gap analysis, identifying key areas for future research and standards development.

F16 − Integrating LiDAR and Mobile Technology in the Community Wildfire Planning Process

Track: Technology, Policy & Regulations
Presenters: William Glesener and Larry Himanga, Natural Resources Forestry, Minnesota

Community Wildfire Planning involves many steps and stakeholders. Often getting the initial assessment information can be difficult when planning over larger communities like Counties. Utilizing LiDAR data to generate an initial assessment and risk analysis based on structural proximity to large woody vegetation can be accomplished in hours rather than weeks.  Improving the speed at which data is obtained via mobile applications, processed and made available to end users, reduces the overall planning time line by over seventy percent and can reduce the cost by eighty-ninety percent.

F17 − Spatially Mapping the Boundaries of Colorado’s Firewise Communities/USA®

Track: Wildfire Planning, Suppression & Operations
Presenters: Peter Barry, Lisa Mason and Courtney Peterson, Colorado State Forest Service

In 2014, the Colorado State Forest Service worked with the National Fire Protection Association to create a spatial database of the boundaries of Colorado’s Firewise Communities/USA. The boundary information can be used to help communities improve communication and safety among residents, develop a map to share with residents of Firewise Communities, inform and better prepare local fire departments to assist when wildfires do occur in the community, assist in planning future wildfire mitigation projects, and provide information that often is requested on grant applications. This presentation will explore the spatial data development strategies used in Colorado, the benefits of the boundary information for communities, and future opportunities the spatial boundary data can provide to land management agencies.

F18 – FEMA Wildfire Mitigation Grant Funding – Implementing the Cohesive Strategy

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenters: Patricia Blankenship, U.S. Fire Administration; Kurt Latipow, Fire Chief, Lompoc Fire Department, California; Robert McCord, DHS/FEMA Region IX; Maggie Wilson, DHS/FEMA

In relation to FEMA’s role in supporting the implementation of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, panel members will discuss and compare requirements and priorities related to eligible wildfire mitigation activities under FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant, Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), and Assistance to Firefighters Grant  (AFG) Program – Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grant.  Panelists will also share case studies illustrating successful grant activities awarded under these grants; and explore examples of potential activities that could be funded through these grant programs.

F19 – Up, Up and Away!!...Drones, The new Super Hero!

Track: Technology, Policy & Regulations
Presenters: Frank Best, FH Best & Associates; Kim Redman, Property Inspection Manager (retired), Consultant

Amazon, Google, your next-door neighbor and the local real estate agent are all talking about how drones will change the world! In this session we will look at the myths and realities of the rapidly emerging UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) industry and discuss how communities can best leverage this high tech but low cost solution to better understand risk from wildfire, monitor mitigation efforts, and grow community resilience programs.