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TH01 − Applying Behavior Change Theory in the Backyard and Beyond

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenter: Karen Berard-Reed, NFPA

Learn how to improve wildland fire prevention activities by incorporating behavior change principles. This engaging session will cover important theories such as the Health Belief Model and discuss how theory-based programs help community members adjust attitudes to support safe behaviors. The presenter will unpack the content in user-friendly terminology and provide real-world examples of strategies to illustrate the theories in action. Participants will work through examples to incorporate research-informed approaches and will leave the session with the ability to enhance community prevention programs.

TH02 − Lessons Learned from the 2013 California Rim Fire

Track: Wildfire Planning, Suppression & Operations
Presenter:
Todd McNeal, Twain Harte Fire & Rescue, California

As the third largest wildfire in the history of California, the Rim Fire is without question one for the history books. The amount of valuable lessons that an incident of this magnitude can convey to today’s fire service are innumerable and still being identified. Any fire service personnel will benefit in reflecting on the many important facts of extreme fire behavior potential in the nation's fuel beds as shown during the Rim Fire.

TH03 − Forest Fuel Load Reduction Methods in Wildland/Urban Interface Environments

Track: Research (Physical, Social, Ecology & Environmental)
Presenter:
Kutcher K. Cunningham, PhD, Arkansas Forest Resources Center

Forests in wildland/urban interface environments can contain heavy fuel loads that are difficult and costly to reduce. Our study explored vegetation management methods including mechanical, chemical, and prescribed fire to manipulate existing fuel loads and alter future forest conditions to help meet specific landowner objectives. This presentation will provide information on small-scale fire risk assessment and fuel load reduction study results.

TH04 − Lessons Learned in Planning & Design

Track: Technology, Policy & Regulations
Presenters
: Leigh W. Kane, Senior Planner, Horry County Planning and Zoning, South Carolina; Drake Carroll, South Carolina Forestry Commission

Horry County has experienced a number of devastating wildfires in recent years. As development continues to encroach upon forested wildlands, more and more people will become vulnerable to wildfires. Community design can directly influence wildfire vulnerability and emergency response capabilities. This session will unveil some of the planning and design challenges that were discovered as Horry County Planning and Zoning, Horry County Fire and Rescue, and South Carolina Forestry Commission assisted with the establishment of numerous Firewise Communities® following a wildfire disaster. 
TH05 – Rural Water Supply, Buckeye Style

Track: Wildland Planning, Suppression & Operations
Presenter: Jeremy Keller, Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association, Water Delivery Technical Advisory Committee

Rural fire fighting operations, including operations in the wildland/urban interface, often struggle to secure an adequate water supply. This situation puts the safety of responders and the public at risk and limits tactical options available to incident commanders. The Water Delivery Technical Advisory Committee (WDTAC) of the Ohio Fire Chiefs' Association has worked since 2010 to develop tactics, techniques and procedures to ensure adequate water supply for rural fire incidents. The WDTAC has developed innovative approaches to moving water, whether the incident involves an isolated barn fire, a wildfire, or a conflagration on an oil field “fracking” pad.

TH06 – After the Wildfire: Wildland/Urban Interface Lessons Learned

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenters
: Amy L. Sylvester and Jeremy Taylor, Colorado Springs Fire Department, Colorado

In June 2012, the Waldo Canyon Fire burned more than 18,000 acres and destroyed 347 homes. It is the most costly fire in Colorado history to date, with estimated insured losses of $454 million. While much attention has been paid to the immediate impacts of the fire, the community is still addressing recovery more than two years later. This session will examine the strategies employed by the Colorado Springs Fire Department to address post-W/UI-fire community needs including: damage assessment, business impact/continuity, modifications to fire code requirements and increased demand for mitigation and prevention services.

TH07 – Heroes in the Woods-Hiring Veterans for Wildfire Mitigation

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenters
: Tim Weaver, Lieutenant, Rapid City Fire Department, South Dakota; Jerry Derr, Firewise Coordinator, Meade County, South Dakota

Rapid City and Meade County, South Dakota developed a grant funded program that both provides a living wage and training for veterans returning from active duty in areas of fire fighting, emergency preparedness, forestry or their desired area of interest. Communities accomplish goals of reducing hazardous fuels, and are made safer from wildfire through the efforts of these veterans while they transition to civilian life. Graduates of the program go on to full time employment in their desired field knowing they have reestablished fire adapted ecosystems in their community.

TH08 – Grant Writing and More, Finding Funds for Your Project

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenter
: George Baker, CPC, ELI-MP, Fire and Ice Coaching, Former Fire Chief, Mashpee, MA

This program will review current grant opportunities, alternative funding and creative financing for wildfire prevention, mitigation and response. A section of this session will review submitting unsolicited funding requests.

TH09 – Community Perceptions: The Efficacy of Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) in Colorado

Track: Research (Physical, Social, Ecology & Environmental)
Presenters: Lisa Mason and Courtney Peterson, Colorado State Forest Service

To help reduce wildfire threats to communities, the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) supports the development and implementation of Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs). Currently, more than 200 CWPPs have been developed in Colorado. Together with Colorado State University, the CSFS assessed the effectiveness of CWPP efforts in bringing together communities to reduce wildfire risk. This session will synthesize findings from the assessment of Colorado CWPPs and a series of interviews with community members involved in CWPP development and implementation.

TH10 – Wildfire Situational Awareness (SA) – Using Technology to Connect Mitigation with Operations

Track: Technology, Policy & Regulations
Presenter
: Kate Dargan, Co-founder, Intterra Group; Retired State Fire Marshal, California

Situational Awareness (SA) uses every bit of valuable data to anticipate conditions. Learn how some of the latest software tech solutions that help mitigation efforts and outreach become critical fire fighting SA for better, faster decision-making. Today's wildland fire fighter now has the ability to see real-time fire perimeters, other responders, create instant maps for sharing, and view house-by-house data needed for structure protection. Mitigation staff can use the same system to assess risk, create homeowner communications, record fuels projects and special hazards that are shared with responders. Accurate, trusted data builds better SA, and good SA leads to safer, more efficient fire fighting. Come learn how to create integrated and planned SA.

TH11 – Defending the Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) through Structural Triage

Track: Wildfire Planning, Suppression & Operations
Presenter
: Josh Portie, Austin Fire Department, Texas

We learned how to assess the wildfire risk to the Home Ignition Zones (HIZ) through assessments, but how does it hold up during to structural triage during a wildfire? Learn what we are teaching about HIZ assessments and what our fire fighters are doing to reduce ignitability of structures during the fire.

TH12 – Using Social Media to Spread Wildfire Safety Awareness

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenter: Lauren Backstrom, NFPA

Learn how to utilize social media to enhance awareness and participation for wildfire safety initiatives. It will detail strategies, tips, success stories and more about some of the latest trends in social media.

TH13 – Texas and Idaho Fire Adapted Communities Exchange

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenters
: Jerry McAdams, Boise Fire Department, Idaho; Justice Jones, Austin Fire Department, Texas

As part of the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (FACLN), the Boise Fire Department and the Austin Fire Department conducted an exchange in early 2015. Each agency sent staff to visit the other locale to learn wildfire mitigation strategies and share best practices. The Wildland Fire Division of the Austin Fire Department takes a proactive approach to community outreach activities and urban forestry work to reduce the risk of wildfire.  The City of Boise Wildfire Mitigation Team has been working closely with local partners to conduct landscape-scale fuel treatments. This presentation will discuss what was learned during this exchange and share this information with others.

TH14 – Insurance Companies and Wildfire Mitigation

Track: Technology, Policy & Regulations
Presenters
: Clark Woodward, RedZone Software; Pat Durland, Stone Creek Fire

Insurance companies are playing an increasingly active part in the proactive reduction of wildfire losses.  As wildfire managers and residents, it can be difficult to see the world through the eyes of an insurance company. The presenters have worked closely with communities, agencies and national property/casualty insurers and will provide unique insight into these industries. The presentation will cover how insurers use wildfire modeling in deciding whether to insure a home, and how wildfire modeling is used to model loss exposure to a single event. It will also discuss how home risk assessments are used by the industry as well as the motivation and goals of private insurance fire response programs.

TH15 – Homeowner Risk Mitigation and Community Wildfire Adaptedness

Track: Research (Physical, Social, Ecology & Environmental)
Presenters:
Patricia A. Champ and Travis Warziniack, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Colorado; James Meldrum and Hannah Brenkert-Smith, University of Colorado

This JFSP funded research examines the concept of “fire adaptedness,” how community characteristics relate to community adaptedness, and how community adaptedness relates to the wildfire risk reduction behaviors of residents from diverse communities across western Colorado. The research asks: (1) What is fire adaptedness? (2) How do individual and community characteristics relate to indicators of fire adaptedness? and (3) How are community programs that are intended to enhance fire adaptedness related to mitigation efforts on private property? Data sources included interviews with Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) coalition members, parcel level professional wildfire risk assessments, homeowner surveys, community wildfire adaptedness indicators, and other community demographic and socio-economic data.

TH16 − Introduction to Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal
Track: Technology, Policy & Regulations
Presenters: Eric Mosley, Spalding County, GA; Fred Turck, Virginia Department of Forestry

SouthWRAP is an exciting new tool being utilized to raise awareness about wildfire risk. Needing a way to deliver wildfire risk information quickly and seamlessly to stakeholders, the Southern Group of State of Foresters developed the Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (SouthWRAP), building upon the success of the Texas Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (TxWRAP). SouthWRAP allows homeowners, community leaders, fire departments and decision-makers at all levels to work together to reduce wildfire risk and support mitigation and prevention efforts.

TH17 − 400 Years of Wildland Fire Fighting Experience in America's Hometown, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Track: Wildfire Planning, Suppression & Operations
Presenter:
Michael A. Young, Plymouth Fire Department, Massachusetts

An historical look at wildland fires, the development of 'brush breakers', and aggressive fire fighting tactics in what is considered the third most combustible forestry and vegetation in the country.

TH18 – Strategies for the new Urbanism and the Wildland/Urban Interface

Track: Community Safety Approaches/Strategies
Presenter:
John Cochran, Municipal Fire Services Consulting, Inc.; Fire Chief, Russellville, Arkansas

The New Urbanism Movement embraces the concepts of high density development and narrow streets. In contrast, Firewise® and related wildland/urban interface strategies suggests just the opposite in urban design with wide streets and defensible space. This session will illustrate the differences in these approaches and offer strategies to insure both concepts can exist in a community’s mitigation program.

TH19 Risk Reduction Status of Recovering Wildfire-Impacted Communities of Canada

Track: Research (Physical, Social, Ecology & Environmental)
Presenter:
Alan Westhaver, ForestWise Environmental Consulting, Ltd.

The two worst wildland/urban interface fire disasters in modern Canadian history occurred when wildfires burned into Kelowna, British Columbia, in 2003 and Slave Lake, Alberta, in 2011. More than 722 homes were destroyed, thousands of local residents were subjected to untold suffering, and over $1 billion in insured losses resulted. This presentation will review findings from a post-disaster investigation sponsored by the Institute of Catastrophic Loss Reduction to determine to what degree homeowners in the affected areas have adopted mitigation (FireSmart) measures to reduce the risk of future wildfire losses for their rebuilt homes.