Pre-Conference Training

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Start this year’s conference off by attending one of the two-day pre-conference interactive seminars. The two sessions being offered include: Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone; and Prepare, Mitigate and Respond with GIS. Sessions include class materials and a daily continental breakfast and lunch. Space is limited – register early!

Session 1 - Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone

This two-day NFPA classroom seminar developed to 1) increase an understanding and competency in wildland/urban interface fire mitigation, 2) assist wildfire mitigation and prevention professionals, regardless of organizational affiliation, in assessing risks to individual homes in wildland, forested, or grassland areas and 3) encourage and make recommendations for corrective mitigation measures to residents and homeowner associations.

This interactive and updated NFPA® seminar is based on fire science research into how homes and other structures ignite during wildfires and NFPA 1144: Standard for Reducing Ignition Hazards from Wildland Fire that covers wildfire behavior, structure exposure, and the concept of the Home Ignition Zone.

The program is administered and sponsored by NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division. It is the only wildfire hazard assessment training nationally recognized by agencies, professionals and organizations.

For the first time, the Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone Seminar offers a Certificate of Educational Achieve­ment* available for a nominal fee through an online exam taken after the course. Earn the Certificate to demonstrate proficiency in your understanding of seminar topics.


JackCohenJack Cohen, PhD
Jack Cohen is a Research Physical Scientist with the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, Montana. Jack’s research on the causes and context of Wildland/Urban Interface fire disasters has created a body of knowledge for application by others. His conception of the Home Ignition Zone and its application has guided the Firewise Communities efforts nationally, regionally and locally. He was a member of the NWCG Wildland/Urban Interface Working Team and helped co-found the Firewise Communities/USA Program. Jack has a BS degree in Forest Science (wildland fire) from the University of Montana, a MS degree in Bioclimatology from Colorado State University and additional university course work in meteorology and mechanical engineering. In 2002 Jack received the Golden Smokey Bear Award, the highest honor given to organizations or individuals for outstanding wildfire prevention service over at least a two-year period that is national in scope.

PatDurlandPat Durland
Pat is a nationally renowned and respected wildfire specialist who spent the first 10 years of his career on the frontlines of wildland fire as a member of a Type-1 hotshot crew, helitack and smokejumper for the forest service across the west. His career spans 35 years of experience in all aspects of wildland fire management serving as a regional level manager for the Bureau of Land Management, supervising aviation and fire management programs in Nevada and California; completing his federal career at the National Interagency Fire Center as DOI’s national program leader in wildland/urban interface mitigation, wildland fire prevention and wildland fire education and information programs. Pat also has international experience and associations in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Honduras. Pat was chairman, vice-chairman and a guiding influence for the NWCG Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Working Team, whose wildfire mitigation and firefighter safety projects include the popular Firewise website and Firewise Communities USA programs.

Session 2 - Prepare, Mitigate and Respond With GIS

Two important steps in developing a Community Wildfire Protec­tion Plan (CWPP) involve conducting a community risk assess­ment and establishing community hazard reduction priorities. Both of these steps are greatly enhanced and simplified with the use of a modern geographic information system (GIS). Using GIS to support the development of a community wildfire protection plan has never been easier than it is today with the new tools and capabilities built into GIS desktop and online programs. Still, understanding the basic methods and tools is important, and learning how to access available data sources is invaluable. This two day class will cover the basic workflows you need to begin analyzing the level and location of the most serious wildfire risks in your community. You will create map products to accompany your report and learn some of the basic principles of analyzing these data to determine priorities for mitigation. The second day of the class will teach you how to publish the results of this analysis online so that you can inform the public and share the results of your analysis with key stakeholders in the community. The class will be taught using ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Online from Esri and assumes basic familiarity with the common func­tions of a GIS.


MikePriceMike Price
Mike Price is the President of Entrada/San Juan, Inc., a Natural Resources and Public Safety consultancy based in Blaine, Washington. Mike has degrees in Geology and Geophysics from Prescott College in Prescott, AZ and Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA. Mike is a Licensed Engineering Geologist/Licensed Geologist in Washington State, a Licensed Professional Geologist in Utah, a Registered Member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME), and is a Certified GIS Professional (GISP), as established by the GIS Certification Institute.

JenniferSchottkeJennifer Schottke
Jennifer Schottke is the municipal fire service and national public safety policy lead for ESRI. Her work focuses on advancing the use of GIS among local and state fire and emergency service agencies as well as advocating for national guidelines and policies to support that goal. She has been with ESRI for 18 years and served previously in various positions within the fire service and broadcast communication industries. Jennifer is a volunteer firefighter in Virginia.


NFPA staff spoke with Jennifer Schottke, the municipal fire service and national public safety policy lead for ESRI.