For the first time, NFPA's annual Conference & Expo will feature a full education session track dedicated to the topic of wildland fire. While many people think of California when they hear the word "wildfire," conference attendees will have the opportunity to hear from a fire service leader from another large and populous state and how it is meeting the challenges of growth into wild and rural areas prone to fire.
Texas has been experiencing rapid growth within what is known as the "wildland/urban interface" or WUI over the past ten years. From 2005 to 2014 there were 157,292 wildfires in Texas that burned 9,488,859 acres. The challenge is not simply suppressing woods or grass fires. Nearly 80 percent of all the wildfires in Texas are within two miles of a community.
Bruce Woods, Department Head for Mitigation and Prevention with the Texas A&M Forest Service, will discuss how these fires that threaten communities not only present multiple challenges to fire departments, but also impact the entire community. He will explain how to implement successful tactical strategies in the WUI through preparedness and mitigation activities. In addition, attendees will learn how to determine wildfire risks using web-based risk assessment tools, implementing proactive programs aimed at empowering citizens, foundational elements of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, and using lessons learned from recent wildfires to craft a sound tactical response plan.
Woods says, "From my experiences in Texas, when wildfires occur within or near a community it presents emergency responders with complex challenges that can’t be just addressed by a singular focus on wildland fire suppression capabilities. It is critical that Fire Chiefs and elected community leaders implement mitigation and prevention programs that produce tangible results in reducing wildfire hazards within communities."
Register today to ensure your opportunity to learn from the experts on an array of fire and hazard safety topics!
SESSION TITLE: M41 - Meeting the Challenges of the Wildland Urban Interface
WHERE: Lagoon J, Mandalay Bay Convention Center