Human Dimensions of Fire

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16th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit and 6th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference

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A virtual conference, for real world problems. Join us on a trip around the world through the lens of wildland fire. Across four days in May 2021, the IAWF will present real world risks and opportunities in an online environment. We will connect a truly international audience, with global topics and speakers from around the world, on different continents and time zones. The IAWF 16th Wildland Fire Safety Summit and the 6th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference will address the issues that make the global wildland fire community safe, smart and supported.

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Emotional intelligence for wildland fire professionals: Why it matters and why you should care

Webinar recording.

Description: It is crucial for wildland fire professionals today to be technically competent in their jobs. What is less obvious and less understood is the cognitive competency needed for our professional job performance. Better understand your own thought processes and how we make decisions on emotional feelings, social inputs, and how developing a high level of Emotional Intelligence can affect risk decision job performance as well as our daily performance.

Presenter: Kelly Martin is a lifelong advocate for the wise use of fire on the landscape, former firefighter on engines, hotshot, helitack, and prescribed burn boss.

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Proactive wildfire risk management tools: A video series

Access the videos ranging from about 1:30-10:00 in length.

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Sharing Science and Lessons Learned: COVID-19 and Wildfire

Webinar recording.

Description: As COVID-19 cases and wildland fire activity increase across the country, wildland fire personnel are looking for ways to quickly identify cases and prevent the spread of the disease on the fireline. The Southwest Fire Consortium will be hosting a webinar sharing information about the current state of the science and lessons learned from the 2020 wildfire season.

Presenters: Kathleen Navarro and John Piacentino from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); Alex Viktora, from the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center will provide a summary of the lessons learned from the 2020 wildland fire season; Jayson Coil from Sedona Fire will provide a view from the field after multiple fire assignments in the Southwest.

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Data, science, and methods behind the Wildfire Risk to Communities Website

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Description: Learn about the science and data used to calculate and map wildfire risk nationwide in the newWildfire Risk to Communities website. Hear from the project’s technical lead about the use of LF and other input datasets, the methods for modeling and mapping wildfire risk, and the data products available through the website. See a demonstration of the website and how to download geospatial and tabular data.

Presenters: Greg Dillon, Frank Fay, Jim Menakis, Kelly Pohl, Joe Scott

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Using the Wildfire Risk to Communities Website

Webinar recording.

Description: See a demonstration of the new Wildfire Risk to Communities website, including use of the interactive maps, charts, and resources available for every community, county, and state in the U.S. Learn how the website and downloadable resources can help community leaders such as elected officials, community planners, and fire managers prioritize actions to mitigate risk. Wildfire Risk to Communities is a new easy-to-use website with interactive maps, charts, and resources to help communities understand, explore, and reduce wildfire risk. It was created by the USDA Forest Service under the direction of Congress. Wildfire Risk to Communities builds on nationwide LANDFIRE data to provide new information about wildfire risk to communities across the U.S.

Presenters: Greg Dillon, Frank Fay, Jim Menakis, Kelly Pohl, Joe Scott

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A public engagement protocol: Social science support of planning efforts

USFS webinar recording.

Description: Forest planning and management efforts, including both forest plan revision and comprehensive river management planning, require extensive public engagement. Social science approaches that are practically applied by practitioners within the public engagement process are limited. Armatas and colleagues have developed a “social vulnerability” protocol focused on peoples’ human-nature relationships that can support both decision-making and public relations.

Presenter: Chris Armatas, RMRS research social scientist

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4th Annual National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop

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The 4th Annual National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop will be in Asheville, North Carolina October 26-30, 2020. The workshop theme is: Hard truths, fantastic failures and magnificent successes of cross-boundary, landscape level and community-wide implementation will focus on the following themes:

  • Significant wildland fire events that are changing the way future fires are addressed,
  • “Fantastic Failures” where alignment of ideas and resources did not produce the desired outcomes,
  • “Magnificent Successes” where collaborative, cross-boundary collaboration, prioritization and investments have led to better wildland fire and landscape scale outcomes.
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Perceptions of land use planning to reduce wildfire risk in eight communities across the US

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Wildfires are increasingly common in the United States, the result of climate change, altered wildfire regimes, and expanding residential development in close proximity to wildland vegetation. Both suppression expenditures and damages are increasing as a result. Accelerating wildfire losses have been observed in other countries as well: Australia, Canada, Chile, Greece, and Portugal have all experienced record destruction due to wildfires in the past decade. Reducing wildfire losses is a daunting goal requiring a multi-part strategy across all levels of government. In the U.S., federal fire policy seeks to: create resilient landscapes and vegetation; use effective and efficient suppression; and promote fire-adapted communities where human populations and infrastructure can withstand wildfire, reducing loss of life and property.

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Exposure complexity and community capacity to manage wildfire risk: Analysis of 60 western US communities

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We analyzed the relationship between predicted housing exposure to wildfire and local self-assessment of community competence to mitigate wildfire risks in 60 communities in the western US. Results generally demonstrate that (1) the number of sources of wildfire risk influences local housing exposure to wildfire, and (2) perceived community-competence is associated with predicted exposure to wildfire. We suggest that investments in ongoing updates to community risk planning and efforts to build multi-jurisdictional risk management networks may help to leverage existing capacity, especially in moderate capacity communities. The analysis improves the social-ecological understanding of wildfire risks and highlights potential causal linkages between community capacity and wildfire exposure.

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