Wildand Fire Management Section travels to Las Vegas

Blog Post created by laurenbackstrom Employee on Apr 9, 2012 LogoNFPA’s June Conference & Expo in Las Vegas is right around the corner. From June 11 - 14, thousands of fire protection, life safety and electrical industries professionals will convene at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to network, share best practices and lessons learned.

Please join me, the Wildland Fire Operations Division staff and our Wildland Fire Management Section members at a breakfast meeting on the 11th where we’ll provide an update on our Division’s activities here in the States and across the globe.  We also  invite you to attend our section-sponsored classes during the week that examine campground emergency preparedness, wildfire regulatory tools and lessons learned from the Texas Bastrop Fire. All sessions take place in the Convention Center. Here’s a review of what we have planned:

Executive Board and Section Meeting; Monday, June 11;  7:00-8:00 am; Room Reef F 

M33: Campground Emergency Preparedness:  A Social Wildland-Urban Interface; Monday, June 11, 9:30-10:30 am; Room Breakers KL; Speakers: Jeffery Hartle, Hauptmann School of Public Affairs • Dianna Bryant, University of Central Missouri

Campgrounds are where urban tourists encounter wildlands. Public safety managers need to collaborate with campground operators to protect transient populations. Preparedness for fires and other emergencies at campgrounds has not been studied. Based upon a two-year research project covering 170 campgrounds in 21 U.S. states and eight Canadian provinces, we report that preparedness is uneven. NFPA 1194 requires posting of emergency numbers, but communication may be difficult because of increased reliance on cell phones, which may not work where campgrounds are located. Posting of local hazard information is not required, leaving urban campers with little guidance about unfamiliar risks. To protect tourists, comprehensive emergency preparedness should include campgrounds, which are a social wildland–urban interface.

T08: Assessment of Wildfire Regulatory and Planning Tools, Tuesday, June 12, 9:30-10:30am; Room Lagoon CD; Speakers:  Molly Mowery and Ray Bizal, NFPA • Don Elliot, Clarion Associates •Casey Grant, Fire Protection Research Foundation

The risk of catastrophic fire occurrence in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) is a major issue in today's fire protection community. There are many potential tools for zoning administrators, planners, and fire/emergency managers to consider when addressing their community's wildfire risk. These tools include comprehensive planning, land use regulation, building codes and standards, voluntary programs (e.g. Firewise Communities/USA recognition program, Communitiy Wildfire), Protection Plans, and hazard mitigation planning. This topic will be addressed through a panel discussion that will focus on: framing the WUI problem and general tools for addressing the WUI; regulations as a tool and results of a recent applicable research study; and highlighting current NFPA codes related to wildland fire. 

W15: The Bastrop County Complex Fire: Learning from Wildfire Disasters, Wednesday, June 13, 9:30 – 10:30 am; Room Lagoon CD; Speaker: Ryan Depew, NFPA

The Bastrop County Complex Fire is the worst fire in the history of Texas, burning 32,400 acres (approximately) and destroying 1660 structures. This session will cover the details of the tragic event and the NFPA standards related to wildfire preparation. Building materials, Firewise principles, and the data collection methods being used to learn from the event will also be discussed.

NFPA’s Conference & Expo is the year’s largest and most important event for the fire protection, life safety, and electrical industries. Come see why it’s widely regarded as the most comprehensive event in the industry.

For more information about the conference, visit the NFPA website. And don’t forget to Check out all the sessions and register today! We hope to see you there!

-Dave Nuss