Wildfire Mitigation and Legacy Awards Presented Today

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The 2017 Wildfire Mitigation Awards were presented today at the Wildland-Urban Interface Conference (WUI) in Reno, Nevada.

Established in 2014, the awards are the highest commendation for innovation and leadership displayed by individuals and organizations committed to wildfire mitigation.

Recognizing the comprehensive challenge posed by wildfires, these awards applaud the outstanding dedication to wildfire mitigation across a broad spectrum of activities and among a variety of individuals and organizations. The winners of the 2017 national Wildfire Mitigation Awards are:

  • Ann Hogan (Town of Riverview, Wisconsin)
  • Bob Betts (Prescott Area Wildland Urban Interface Commission, Prescott, Arizona)
  • Brianna Binnebose (Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands)
  • Brian Schaffler (USDA Forest Service)
  • Chief Walton Daugherty (City of Helotes Fire Department, Helotes, Texas)
  • City of Borger, Texas
  • Heather Campbell (Pollock Pines Fire Safe Council, Pollock Pines, California)
  • Jim Tencza (FireWise of Southwest Colorado, Bayfield, Colorado)
  • Joanne Drummond (Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, Grass Valley, California)
  • John T. Mele (Snowmass Wildcat Fire Protection District, Snowmass Village, Colorado)
  • Pete Padelford (Blue Lake Springs Homeowners Association, Arnold, California)
  • Rebecca Samulski (FireWise of Southwest Colorado, Dolores, Colorado)
  • Santa Fe Fire Department Wildland Division (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
  • Yarnell Fire Mitigation Cooperative (Yarnell, Arizona)

Jack Cohen, USDA Forest Service retiree, received the 2017 Wildfire Mitigation Legacy Award for his work to develop the science behind many effective wildland-fire mitigation concepts used today across North America. Mr. Cohen devoted his career to the importance of community wildfire-risk reduction through fire adaptation and helped create the tools and best practices that make up fire adaptation today. The Legacy Award, the first ever presented, honors an individual who has championed mitigation efforts over a long period of time and made major contributions to the development of mitigation messaging, tools and implementation at the regional or national level.

State forestry agencies know it is always wildfire season somewhere in the United States. Many of the 2017 Wildfire Mitigation Award winners are involved in wildfire mitigation efforts year-round. As Americans live with the threat of catastrophic wildfire, it is increasingly important for wildland-urban interface communities to identify and mitigate wildfire risks.

The Wildfire Mitigation Awardees illustrate how advanced preparations can help ensure a safer and more rapid response should a wildland fire threaten their community. The awards are sponsored by NASF, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the USDA Forest Service (USFS). 

Contact: Amanda Cooke at acooke@stateforesters.org or 202-624-5417