Photo of prescribed fire working group at the Salish-Kootenai community field trip. Photo by Faith Berry
Last week researchers from at least 20 countries from across the globe, met and shared professional information and knowledge with each other in Missoula, Montana at the Fire Continuum Conference. This incredible workshop featured more than 400 presentations from respected researchers in the field of wildfire and fire science, as well as notable key note speakers including Vicki Christiansen the interim US Forest Service Chief, Dave Calkin, PhD, Supervisory Research Forester, Human Dimensions Program, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Mark Finney, Research Forester, USDA Forest Service, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory and more.
Some workshop topics included, NASA collaboration in Earth data sharing, communicating risk, using process-based coupled fire/atmosphere models to gain better understanding of wildfire dynamics, conservation impacts of a near real-time monitoring and alert system for the tropics, and so much more. Lucian Deaton from the NFPA presented the Research Foundation’s findings about Global Perspectives on Wildfire Community Risk Reduction.
What was even more unique about conference was the keynote presentation about the importance of inclusivity in fire management and science. Of special interest during this presentation was the information shared by Diego R. Perez-Salicrup, from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma De Mexico. He shared how they have learned from indigenous people about traditional and cultural uses of fire on the landscape.
An organized field trip that was a part of the conference explored how the Salish-Kootenai tribe used prescribe fire not only to manage the landscape for wildfire but also how they developed an integrated planning group including cultural, environmental, forestry, water and fire experts in drafting and managing prescribed fire plans. The results were incredible! An important part of this conference and any community wildfire safety plan to address wildfire risks are knowing the science behind planned risk reduction projects and inclusivity, allowing everyone to be an integral part in developing and implementing activities to reduce risk of loss from wildfire.
Photo of Lucian Deaton presenting by Michele Steinberg