NFPA’s Backyards & Beyond conference explores wildfire safety issues

Educational sessions, featured presentations and pre-conference workshop offered

July 11, 2013 ― The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) will host its 5th Backyards & Beyond® Wildland Fire Education Conference at the Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah, November 14 - 16. The conference is being organized by NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division.

With more than 60 breakout sessions in five educational tracks, the Backyards & Beyond conference offers a unique opportunity for participants to share knowledge, build relationships, explore key issues and learn about important wildfire mitigation tools, community evacuation issues, wildfire planning and suppression, and current social and ecological research affecting those living in wildfire prone areas.  The event brings together leading wildland fire experts, Firewise community representatives, community planners, civic leaders, homeowners and residents, insurance professionals, landscape architects and others to share best practices that can be taken back to communities or the workplace.

Video: Dave Nuss, Manager of NFPA's Wildland Fire Operations Division, offers a sneak-peak at the special presentations, speakers and sessions available at this year's Backyards & Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference.

The general session at 8:15 a.m. on Thursday, November 14 will highlight Faith Ann Heinsch, Ph.D., a research ecologist with the USDA Forest Service, who will deliver the keynote address entitled, “Climate Change, Climate Variability, and Ecosystem Response in the Western U.S.”

Featured presentations include: 

  1. How progress towards real preparedness is being made in communities committed to inclusive emergency planning with the participation of people with special needs, presented by Allan Fraser, sr. building & code specialist for NFPA’s building fire protection& life safety division.
  2. The role of The Great Fires of 1910 in spurring national debate about fire policy and the country’s wildfire suppression strategies, presented by Stephen Pyne, Ph.D., author and University of Arizona professor.
  3. A panel discussion regarding the insurance industry and how major wildfire events impact insurers and policy holders, including the role of insurance in loss recovery, led by Michele Steinberg, NFPA’s Firewise Communities Program manager, Carole Walker from the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, and author Linda Masterson.
  4. The role that fire behavior science plays in framing successful wildfire solutions for policy makers, politicians and residents, presented by Bob Mutch, fire management consultant, Fire Management Applications. 

A pre-conference workshop, Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone, will be offered November 12 – 13 with instructors, Jack Cohen, Physical Research Scientist, USDA Forest Service, and Pat Durland, president and wildland fire consultant, Stone Creek Fire.

Registration for both the pre-conference workshop and the conference is available online, by phone or mail. Visit NFPA’s registration page for more details. Additional information about the sessions and educational tracks, speakers and schedules can be found on NFPA’s Backyards & Beyond conference webpage.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at

Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275