We want to thank everyone who submitted comments to our Backyards & Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference Registration Contest! We received so many amazing responses from people looking to learn more about wildland fire and our Firewise Communities program - it was hard to choose just one! So hard, that we ended up with a tie and are awarding two winners this afternoon. They are:
Richard Nelson and Jamie Gomez.
Our contest winners' comments are below:
Richard Nelson said:
I am new to the position of fire safety educator in my fire department and want to fully understand the Firewise concept. We have a Firewise community in our city and I need the tools to sustain and enhance what is already in place, as well as to expand the program into new neighborhoods. There are three main areas I want to focus on at this conference; first how to encourage community involvement, second to enhance firefighter and homeowner safety, and third to create networks within the professional community. To improve community involvement I want to focus on how to recruit and motivate new community support, especially from youth from elementary to college age. To enhance firefighter safety I need to focus on home owner’s responses to fire, and fire fighting strategies and tactics in the W/UI. Last I need to get to know other professionals in the field. This conference will provide a foundation, but to build on this I need to create relationships and professional networks. Talking and working with other professionals and listening to their ideas and experiences will help in sustaining and expanding Firewise in my community.
Jamie Gomez said:
As Underwood Conservation District’s Firewise Coordinator, there are three top three lessons that I hope to learn from the National Fire Protection Association® “Backyards & Beyond Wildland Fire Education Conference”. Alongside numerous community members, we have been able to achieve some initial successes throughout Skamania and Klickitat County in southern Washington State. However, we face numerous challenges ahead. How can we keep the spark alive? The second lesson is about digging deeper into the science of wildland fires, home ignitions and the factors that influence human behavior. Science sometimes needs to be translated into a message that is locally relevant so that key findings are learned by all. How can we learn from the best to teach the rest? The third lesson is about learning by example. What are other communities doing, in particular, to address the Wildland Urban Interface problem? Using this kind of ‘nuts-and-bolts’ knowledge, combined with a scientifically sound yet locally relevant message and some practical tips to keep the spark alive, I hope to return home with a full toolbox to help our District’s communities take on wildfire hazard reduction in the backyard and beyond!
Congratulations Richard and Jamie! We look forward to seeing everyone in Denver.