FireWise of Southwest Colorado had some big things to celebrate at its bimonthly meeting Tuesday, including three national awards.
Judy Winzell got a standing ovation from her neighbors at Falls Creek as she accepted the Community Wildfire Preparedness Pioneer Award – one of only four in the nation – from Durango Fire Protection District Deputy Chief of Operations Hal Doughty. The DFPD nominated Winzell for the honor.
Wildfire season is quickly approaching, and Southern Arizona fire departments spent last weekend brushing up on their skills.
Firefighters from several local agencies, including the Northwest Fire District, Casa Grande Fire Department, Golder Ranch Fire District, and Oracle Fire Department, were out in Oracle Saturday for their annual training, which covered everything from driving safety to land navigation to radio communications.
The drill is hosted by the U.S. Forest Service, Arizona State Forestry Division.
The U.S. Forest Service, the White House, bipartisan supporters in Congress and conservation groups are trying to push through legislation (H.R. 167) so that the costs of fighting catastrophic wildfires would be paid from emergency funds, just as when other natural disasters strike. The Forest Service and Interior Department would continue to fund routine firefighting from their regular budgets.
Last Friday, blazes were set across South and Central New Jersey, including Washington Township in Burlington County; Manchester and Eagleswood Townships in Ocean County; Millville, Maurice, Commercial, and Downe Townships in Cumberland; and Monmouth Battlefield in Monmouth County.
"Prescribed burning is part of a planned strategy that the state uses to reduce accumulations of undergrowth, fallen branches, and downed trees that can act as tinder and increase the severity of wildfires, making them difficult to control," said State Forester Lynn Fleming.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has released the first of two reports developed by the Rangeland Fire Task Force. This initial report includes actions to be implemented by Interior’s bureaus to immediately address the threat of rangeland fire to Western sagebrush-steppe landscapes and improve fire management efforts before the start of the 2015 wildfire season.
Ohioans are advised to be aware of the state’s outdoor burning regulations and take necessary precautions if they are planning to burn debris this spring, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
“Most wildfires in Ohio are caused by people that are simply careless when burning trash and other debris,” said Robert Boyles, state forester and chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “While largely unintentional, these fires place property and lives at unnecessary risk.”
Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2015 Would End Transfers of Cash from Land Management Programs
WASHINGTON—Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Crapo (R-ID) have introduced the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2015 (S. 235) with support from a bi-partisan group of their Senate colleagues including Senators Risch (R-ID), Baldwin (D-WI), Gardner (R-CO), Bennet (D-CO), Daines (R-MT) and Cantwell (D-WA).
The 2015 National Smokey Bear Awards nomination period is now open.
This prestigious award program recognizes organizations and/or indiciduals for outstanding service in wildfire prevention programs.
These awards remind us of the hard work our employees and cooperators do to reduce the threat of human-caused wildfires. National Association of State Foresters is proud to continue this award program with our partners at the USDA Forest Service and the Ad Council.
Washington Department of Natural Resources officials think thinning and restoring more forests on public and private lands throughout the state could help prevent another wildfire season like 2014, which was the most destructive in state history.
The agency is asking the state legislature to quintuple the amount spent on forest hazard reduction in the next two years — a $20 million request that state forester Aaron Everett called “ambitious and aggressive.”
“We think it’s warranted in light of the fire season we just had,” Everett said.
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