Certification Advisory Group

NFPA would like to thank the volunteer committee that helped develop the Certified Wildfire Mitigation Specialist (CWMS) Certification. In the course of their work, committee members performed a job role analysis, determined the exam weighted criteria, researched the body of knowledge, and created the exam content. The hard work and dedication of the following individuals, along with the rest of the volunteer committee, made the development of this credential possible.

Kristin Garrison, CWMS

Fire, Fuels, and Watershed Manager
Colorado State Forest Service

Kristin has worked for over 20 years with the Colorado State Forest Service in various areas of forestry including forest management and restoration, wildfire mitigation planning and implementation, wildland fire management, insect and disease diagnosis, and post-fire rehabilitation. In her current position she administers statewide fire mitigation, fuels and watershed management programs, coordinates with state and federal partners on cooperative fire programs, and administers federal grant funding for mitigation efforts. Kristin has a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management from Colorado State University.

Justice Jones

Wildfire Division Manager
Austin Fire Department

Justice currently serves as the division manager for the Austin Fire Departments’ Wildfire Division. In this role he is responsible for enhancing the city of Austin’s resiliency to wildfire. In addition to striving to make Austin a more fire adapted community, he brings over 20 years of experience leading wildfire preparedness programs at the state and local levels. Justice serves as the state wildland urban interface coordinator for the Texas Forest Service, and he also serves on numerous working groups focused on advancing awareness and mitigation of wildland urban interface issues such as the International Association of Fire Chief’s wildland fire policy committee, the National Wildland Coordinating Group’s mitigation committee, and the National Fire Protection Association’s 1141, 1142, and 1144 committees.

Chris Rea, CWMS

Wildfire Mitigation Specialist
Boulder County Land Use Department

Chris Rea is a wildfire mitigation specialist for the Boulder County Land Use Department. His role is to assure that new homes, home additions, and decks being built in the foothills and mountains of unincorporated Boulder County establish defensible space around these structures and that proper ignition resistant materials are utilized during construction. Chris also helps to oversee, and serves as a wildfire mitigation specialist, for the Wildfire Partners program. He enjoys working with homeowners to identify wildfire-related vulnerabilities to homes, find cost effective retrofit solutions to prevent home ignition, and to help create defensible space zones around these homes. Before coming to Boulder County, Chris worked as a forest technician for the U.S. Forest Service in Arkansas; as a service forester and wildland firefighter for the North Carolina Forest Service; and as an assistant district forester and wildland firefighter for the Wyoming State Forestry Division.

Andrew Tate, CWMS

Wildfire Prevention and Fuels Reduction Program Manager
Wildfire Division, State of Washington Department of Natural Resources

Andrew Tate has been involved with wildland fire prevention, education, and mitigation for over 10 years. He is currently a program manager for the Wildfire Division of the Washington Department of Natural Resources. He administers and coordinates non-regulatory prevention and associated landowner and resident education, along with federal grants for hazardous fuels reduction treatments.

Wade Ward, CWMS

Fire Mitigation Specialist
Arizona Public Service (APS)

Wade has extensive experience in fuels management and fire suppression. With a degree in Fire Science his work experience includes Wildland Urban Interface hazard vegetation assessments, fuels management, hand crews, hotshot experience, as well as a structure firefighter/engineer. Wade is also a public information officer for all hazard incident management. Wade works for Arizona Public Service Forestry & Special Programs Division (the largest utility in Arizona), where he oversees a comprehensive fire mitigation plan for APS transmission and distribution including the DSAP program, (defensible space around poles). In addition Wade works with APS incident command as a liaison on wildfire incidents to ensure public and first responder safety.

Jill Welle, CWMS

Senior Wildfire Mitigation Specialist
Douglas County Building Division

Jill Welle received her undergraduate degree in natural resources management from Colorado State University in 1991 and her master’s degree in environmental policy and management from the University of Denver in 1998.She spent over five years with the United States Forest Service in northern California working mostly in timber sale administration and timber sale preparation where she managed complex multi-product timber sales. Jill has worked in wildfire mitigation at Douglas County since 1998. She has worked collaboratively to grow the wildfire mitigation program from a regulation based program associated with building permits to encompass zoning regulation, public education and outreach, collaborative partnerships and forest stewardship on publicly owned properties serving the citizens of Douglas County Colorado. She has worked with Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) on all levels; she works closely with representatives from fire protection districts and the Colorado State Forest Service.

Jon Westrup, CWMS

Fire Smart LLC

In 2000, Jon Westrup established Fire Smart LLC. Since then, Jon has assessed risk, compiled and communicated recommendations, and implemented wildfire mitigation actions on hundreds of properties in Southwest Colorado. Jon is a pioneer and advocate of stewardship based wildfire mitigation practices. These practices balance and combine the goals of risk reduction with the goals of forest restoration and aesthetic enrichment. Jon has a Bachelor of Science degree in resource management from Colorado State, and is certified in home ignition