NFPA’s 2015 Backyards & Beyond Conference explores wildfire safety issues

Educational sessions, featured presentations and pre-conference workshop offered

June 8, 2015 ― The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) will host its 6th Backyards & Beyond® Wildland Fire Education Conference at the Sheraton Convention Center Hotel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, October 22 - 24. The Conference is being organized by NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division.

With nearly 50 breakout sessions in four educational tracks, the Backyards & Beyond conference offers a unique opportunity for participants to share knowledge, build relationships and explore key issues around wildfire safety. Attendees will discuss community safety approaches and strategies, learn about wildfire mitigation tools, wildfire planning and suppression, and current social and ecological research affecting those living in wildfire prone areas.

This 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: Michele Steinberg, 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 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 22, will highlight George Baker, CPC, Fire and Ice Coaching, and a retired fire chief from Mashpee, Massachusetts, who will deliver the keynote address entitled, “Building High Energy Relationships for Successful Project Outcomes.”

Featured presentations include: 

  • The Highway 31 Fire: Wildfire Close to Home – A recap of the efforts to control the most destructive wildfire in South Carolina history in 2009 that burned almost 20,000 acres adjacent to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; presented by Darryl Jones, Forest Protection Chief, South Carolina Forestry Commission.
  • Homeowners and Fire on the Forest Edge – A look at the role homeowners and the fire community play in protecting rural subdivisions from inevitable fire; presented by Lincoln Bramwell, PhD, legislative affairs specialist, USDA Forest Service.
  • The USAA Firewise Community Recognition Discount: Behavior, Incentives and Community Resilience – Highlights of the joint research between the Firewise Communities Program and USAA, which led to the introduction of the USAA Firewise Community Recognition Discount; presented by Jeff Cavanaugh, USAA.
  • Application of Firewise Data in the Private Sector – How Myriad Development company built Firewise data into its California Natural Hazard Disclosure Report product and made it accessible on the industry standard underwriting platform; presented by Chris Roussel, chief executive officer, Myriad Development, Inc. 

Two pre-conferences workshops will be offered on October 20-21. The first, Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone, will be taught by instructors, Jack Cohen, physical research scientist, USDA Forest Service and Pat Durland, president and wildland fire consultant, Stone Creek Fire. The second, Prepare, Mitigate and Respond with GIS, will be taught by Mike Price from Entrada/San Juan and Jennifer Schottke, ESRI.

Registration for both the pre-conference workshops and the conference is available online, by phone or mail. Early bird deadline is September 18. Visit NFPA’s registration webpage for more details and download the Conference brochure. 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

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