Fire Communication & Education

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A public engagement tool for understanding human-nature relationships and relevant drivers of change

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Description: Wildland fire is a phenomenon that impacts people and communities from the local to the national scale. These impacts are generally entwined with the human and ecological meanings and services that people derive from public lands. Fire planning requires an understanding of differing perceptions related to desired objectives and outcomes, as well as barriers and opportunities for implementation of adaptation strategies. While convening a diverse range of people with their varying perspectives to discuss wildland fire planning and management may be common, rigorous social science approaches that can be practically applied by practitioners within these forums are limited. We have developed a ‘social vulnerability’ protocol focused on exploring diverse human-nature relationships and the drivers of change influencing such relationships, which can support both decision-making and public relations. This webinar reviews past applications of the social vulnerability protocol to support planning and management, demonstrates the protocol in its web-based form for virtual engagement, and explores opportunities to apply the protocol within the context of wildfire planning and management.

Presenter: Chris Armatas, Research Social Scientist, Forest Service & Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute


Fire Adapted Communities logo

Lessons from Evacuation Planning: Part 2

Webinar registration.

Part 2 of this webinar series will feature three researchers in a combined presentation, panel and small breakout group interactive format. During registration, you will have the opportunity to choose your top two breakouts. We will pre-assign you to a room ahead of the webinar. These small group breakouts will be an opportunity to connect with researchers and other practitioners about the research topic in your group.

Presenters (and your choices for small group breakout sessions):

Karin Riley – Recent work includes Evaluating Rural Pacific Northwest Towns for Wildfire Evacuation Vulnerability (

Shefali Lakhina – Recent work includes Wildfire Preparedness and Evacuation Planning in a Pandemic (

Amanda Staciewicz/Travis Paveglio – Recent work includes Preparing for Wildfire Evacuation and Alternatives: Exploring Influences on Residents’ Intended Evacuation Behaviors and Mitigations (

This webinar is geared towards wildfire adaptation practitioners who are implementing community evacuation preparedness and planning programs. It will not be covering information on individual homeowner evacuation preparedness.

Southern Fire Exchange logo

Moving to hybrid programs: A discussion with natural resource professionals

Webinar registration.

Hear from presenters from around the country who share their personal experiences and lessons learned in moving their natural resource programs to a hybrid platform. They cover various types of hybrid events, including meetings, trainings, workshops and large-scale conferences, and how to ensure accessibility. This event is open to everyone but is targeted for natural resources professionals who are considering organizing hybrid events in the future.

Fire Adapted Communities logo

Lessons from Evacuation Planning: Part 1

Webinar registration.

Part 1 of this webinar series will feature three practitioners in a combined presentation and panel format. Learn about the evacuation planning and preparedness work happening in Oregon (City of Ashland and Deschutes County) and Colorado (Boulder County). Featured Speakers: Chris Chambers (Ashland Fire), Nathan Garibay (Deschutes County OEM), and Mike Chard (Boulder OEM)

This webinar is geared towards wildfire adaptation practitioners who are implementing community evacuation preparedness and planning programs. It will NOT be covering information on individual homeowner/renter evacuation preparedness.

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Patterns of wildfire risk in the US as characterized by land managers

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In this study, patterns of wildfire risk were explored from operational relative risk assessments (RRA) completed by land managers on 5087 wildfires from 2010 to 2017 in every geographic area of the USA. The RRA is the formal risk assessment used by land managers to develop strategies on emerging wildfires when concerns and issues related to wildfire management are in real-time. Only 38% of these wildfires were rated as high risk and 28% had high ratings for values at risk. Large regional variations were evident, with the West Coast regions selecting high risk and the South-west and Eastern regions selecting low risk. There were finer-scale influences on perceived risk when summarized on a jurisdictional level. Finally, risk summarized by USA agencies showed that the National Park Service and USDA Forest Service selected high risk less frequently compared with other agencies. By illuminating patterns of risk, this research intends to stimulate examination of the social, cultural, and physiographic factors influencing conceptions of risk.

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Land use planning as a strategy for fire adapted communities

Webinar registration.

Description: As communities across the U.S. face increasing threats from wildfire, there is also a growing interest in land use planning as a strategy to reduce risk and foster more resilient outcomes. Land use planning provides a variety of tools, such as growth management plans, subdivision regulations, or wildland-urban interface (WUI) codes that can be applied in wildfire-prone areas. These tools can support public safety and emergency response, direct growth away from high hazard areas, and can complement other fire adapted activities such as vegetation management. However, selecting the appropriate tools and integrating them with other approaches often takes consideration of many factors—such as existing state requirements, potential shifts in demographic and development patterns, political will, and enforcement capacity. This webinar will provide a brief history of planning in the WUI for context, and highlight different planning tools and implementation strategies available to state and local governments—including examples from across the West.

Presenter: Molly Mowery, AICP, Executive Director, Community Wildfire Planning Center

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What does it mean to be a good ally? Actions towards allyship

Webinar recording.

Presenter: Ellen Bledsoe, PhD (she/her), Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Regina

Description: Ellen will introduce some general terminology about inclusivity, privilege, allies, and allyship; explore the importance of coupling diversity initiatives with allyship; and guide you through identifying your own points of privilege and instances in which you can act as allies. She will provide concrete examples of how to be allies—both pre-emptively and in response to specific incidents.

Ellen Bledsoe is a community ecologist and data scientist with a passion for making STEM fields and society more just and inclusive. She is currently a Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Fellow with the Canadian Institute for Ecology and Evolution’s Living Data Project and is based in the Dept. of Biology at the University of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan, in Canada. She earned her PhD from the University of Florida in 2020, where she was deeply engaged with multiple diversity, equity, and inclusivity efforts in the sciences, including serving on the Dept. of Wildlife Ecology’s DEI committee and as president of NRDI (“nerdy”; the Natural Resources Diversity Initiative). She was trained in leading Ally Skills Workshops in 2019 and subsequently co-founded the Ally Skills Network, which runs Ally Skills Workshops at UF and beyond.


Prescribed Fire Operations

Mitigation Best Practices Training

Training website.

This national level training from Coalitions & Collaboratives, Inc. and the USDA Forest Service is designed for current or future mitigation specialists, wildfire program leads, and others who work with residents and their communities to reduce wildfire risk. The Mitigation Best Practices training concentrates on science, methods and tools that will help you engage communities/residents while also helping you to eliminate ineffective practices.

Participants should come with a basic understanding of wildfire, how homes burn, and vegetation management practices. The course assumes you know how to mitigate, but that you could use support engaging your community. In this workshop, you will work through some of the greatest challenges facing our wildland urban interface communities. The course will help you break down ineffective practices to make space for the more effective ones with a focus on the on-the-ground mitigation activities.

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Beyond planning tools: Experiential learning in climate adaptation planning and practices

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Here, we describe a training approach that we developed to help managers effectively plan to execute intentional, climate-informed actions. This training approach was developed through the Climate Change Response Framework (CCRF) and uses active and focused work time and peer-to-peer interaction to overcome observed barriers to using adaptation planning tools. We evaluate the effectiveness of this approach by examining participant evaluations and outlining the progress of natural resources projects that have participated in our trainings. We outline a case study that describes how this training approach can lead to place and context-based climate-informed action. Finally, we describe best practices based on our experience for engaging natural resources professionals and helping them increase their comfort with climate-informed planning.

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Basic fire facts- A story map from NW Fire Science Consortium

View Fire Facts guide.

This Fire Facts guide was created to provide basic wildfire information, background, terminology, and resources to increase your knowledge and understanding of wildland fire and the ways we can all contribute to better fire outcomes.

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