Fire Communication & Education
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.
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.
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.
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.
Synthesis of existing science indicates that efforts to promote wildfire adaptation should be tailored to the unique social circumstances that affect broader landscapes. Approaching tailored adaptation to wildfire requires a series of considerations that help assess social diversity, better conceive of opportunities for community development that span landscapes, and evaluate how efforts at various scales (e.g., local, regional, state) enable or constrain the development of best practices. The overarching analogy provided in this article helps cut across divergent concepts to articulate existing approaches and concepts that can help achieve the above goals.
Utah State University Research Landscapes will address the latest in wildfire science and management, including:
Controlling aspects of the “fire triangle.”
Using fire as a tool to limit “disaster fires.”
Managing fuel to reduce severity of fires.
Focusing less on the number of acres burned and more on human impact of fires.
The event will feature a presentation by Dr. Larissa Yocom, USU assistant professor of wildland resources and Utah’s only dedicated wildfire ecologist. Her presentation will be followed by a live question-and-answer session.
Are you ready for the next wildfire season? Last summer’s wildfire events impacted most Oregonians and we learned that EVERYONE living in Oregon should be prepared for a wildfire emergency. Every community is different though, and it can be difficult to navigate all of the resources.
A series of webinar sessions and online local meetings will address preparedness at three levels:
• Individual – What you can do now to get yourself, your family, and your home ready
• Community – How you can be a part of promoting a wildfire safe community
• Landscape – How you can live and thrive in a fire-adapted environment
Presenters: Suzanne Connolly. Suzanne specializes in treating trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is passionate about sharing her effective methods with professionals and leaders around the world. Researcher, author, speaker, Adjunct Professor, therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Suzanne Connolly has been in private practice working with adults, adolescents, couples and families in Northern Arizona since 1987.
Marc Titus, Staff Specialist – Fire Adapted Communities, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Nevada Division of Forestry. Marc Titus currently works as the Nevada Division of Forestry’s Fire Adapted Communities Staff Specialist and is completing an MS in Psychology from Arizona State University. His journey of recovery from PTSD is thought-provoking, alarming and yet filled with hope. Being intimately involved in the 2008 Iron 44 Fatality Incident ultimately took its toll on Marc and after many years of degradation, he was finally diagnosed with PTSD in December 2014. Losing everything from his career as a wildland firefighter, Marc rebuilt his life around his recovery and new yoga businesses he and wife, Heather Shereé Titus owned and operated in Sedona, AZ. He has been an advocate for understanding PTSD and providing tools and
practices that combat traumatic stress and mental health issues in First Responders. He now lives in Carson City, NV with his wife and dog, Boon and can finally think about (and plan for) the future again.
Nelda St. Clair, Owner of firemind. Nelda started her career with the Forest Service in 1979 on the Medicine Bow National Forest. She moved on to the BLM as a Unimog Operator and over the years held various positions including Fire Operations Supervisor, Helitack Manager, Assistant FMO and FMO. She spent 14 years as the Center Manager at the Western Great Basin Coordination Center. She retired in 2019 from the BLM National Office as the National CISM Coordinator. Nelda is completing a master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and is the National CISM Coordinator (Contract) for the BIA. Nelda also owns firemind® a mental health referral service for wildland firefighters.
Shawna A. Legarza, PsyD, Director of Emergency Management, Office of Emergency Management, La Plata County, Colorado. Shawna was raised on a cattle ranch in Northern Nevada and entered the firefighting profession as an engine crewmember for the Bureau of Land Management. She has recently retired as the National Director of Fire and Aviation for the United States Forest Service, where she worked for four years in Washington, DC. She spent 31 years working for the federal government in fire and aviation management. Shawna held numerous leadership positions across the Country for both the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. These positions include Incident Commander, Operations Section Chief, Safety Officer and many years working as a hotshot crew member. Shawna started the San Juan Hotshot crew as the Superintendent in 2002, worked as the Dispatch Center Manager in Grand Junction, was the District Fire Management Officer in Bayfield, CO, and the Forest Fire Management Officer on the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California. Prior to her position in Washington DC, she was the Regional Fire and Aviation Director for the Forest Service in California. In addition to her fire experience, she worked at the World Trade Center 9/11 recovery efforts, Hurricane Rita and the Greensburg Tornado. She has also traveled internationally to the recent fires in Australia, Brazil and Mexico. Shawna has a Doctorate in Psychology, a Master of Science in Kinesiology and a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Physiology and Teaching. She is a graduate of the National Wildland Fire Apprenticeship Program Academy.
This webinar is presented with the University’s Osher Life Learning Institute, a member-driven organization offering short-term educational experiences for older adults in northern Nevada. Deputy Emergency Manager Jason Danen, with the Carson City Fire Department, will speak about emergency notification systems such as Code Red and other forms of communication to the public during a wildfire. In addition, Skyland Fire Adapted Communities’ Leader and Douglas County Community Emergency Response Team Member Ann Grant will discuss items to prepare for an evacuation go bag and a stay box.
Firewise landscaping, May 10, 11:30–1 PDT, Webinar recording
- This webinar is presented with the University’s Wendy Hanson Mazet, Certified Arborist, and Extension Plant Diagnostician. She has expertise in horticulture, arboriculture, noxious weeds, and vegetable and low water use gardening.
Wildfire evacuation preparedness, May 13, 11:30–1 PDT, Webinar recording
- This webinar is presented with the University’s Osher Life Learning Institute, a member-driven organization offering short-term educational experiences for older adults in northern Nevada. Deputy Emergency Manager Jason Danen, with the Carson City Fire Department, will speak about emergency notification systems such as Code Red and other forms of communication to the public during a wildfire. In addition, Skyland Fire Adapted Communities’ Leader and Douglas County Community Emergency Response Team Member Ann Grant will discuss items to prepare for an evacuation go bag and a stay box.
Perspectives of a wildland fire investigator, May 18, 11:30–1 PDT, Webinar recording
- Fire Mitigation and Education Specialist/Fire Trespass Coordinator Bradley Milam, with the Bureau of Land Management, will share wildfire investigation experiences. Forest Fire Prevention Officer Jennifer Diamond, with the U.S. Forest Service – Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, will share some fire prevention tips.
The timeline of climate, weather and fire, June 10, 11:30–1 PDT, Webinar recording
- Climatology Research Professor Tim Brown, also director of the Western Regional Climate Center, will discuss how weather and climate influence fire in Nevada.
Protect, prevent and prepare with NV energy, June 24, 12–1:30 PDT, Powerpoint presentation
- Natural Disaster Protection Plan Director James Saavdra and Director of Delivery Operations Zeina Randall, both with NV Energy, will discuss how NV Energy is working with customers and partners using innovative strategies to reduce the risk of wildfire to Nevadans.
Wildfire smoke and health, July 8, 11:30– 1 PDT, Webinar recording
- Meteorologist and Public Information Officer Chris Smallcomb, from the National Weather Service – Reno office, will discuss smoke forecasting and models used to predict smoke. Air Quality Specialist Brendan Schnieder, with the Washoe County Health District’s Air Quality Management Division, will discuss wildfire smoke and health impacts.
Home hardening Q&A, Aug. 12, 11:30– 1 PDT, Webinar recording
- Living With Fire will host a question-and-answer workshop with Steve Quarles, who is both University of California Cooperative Extension Advisor Emeritus and the retired Chief Scientist for Wildfire and Durability, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety Research Center. The session will focus on “home hardening,” defined as building or retrofitting homes to withstand wildfire. Watch a previous presentation on this topic online.
Reseeding and flood after wildfire, Sept. 9, 11:30–1 PDT, Webinar recording
- Forester Anna Higgins with the Nevada Division of Forestry, Ecologist Mark Freese with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, and Project Manager Danae Olson with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will discuss reseeding landscapes, and preparing for potential flood after wildfire.
Prescribed fire in Tahoe and Nevada, Oct. 14, 11:30–1 PDT, Webinar registration
- Fuels Management Officer Keegan Schafer with Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District and Forest Fuels and Vegetation Program Manager Duncan Leao with the U.S. Forest Service – Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest will discuss prescribed fire and projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin and Nevada.