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Balancing Snowy Winters with Fire Adapted Summers

on Wed, 05/25/2016 - 3:57pm

Written by Val Vissia, Lincoln County Conservation District

Standing in the garden in the early heat of June 2015, the smell of smoke was already in the air as the first fire of summer had started and they just kept coming. The first fire in Lincoln County started June 15th and burned 350 acres in an accidental farm fire - and we were off and they just kept coming. Field fires, lightning strikes and more lightning strikes, more accidental farm fires and even a fire caused by a tire coming off a truck on I-90 igniting grass and becoming a large fire event.

National Fire Networks Meeting Emphasizes Partnerships and Fire Adapted Ecology

on Tue, 05/17/2016 - 11:52pm

Written by Ryan Anderson, WA FAC LN Executive Director

During the week of April 25th through the 29th, I travelled to the annual workshop of the Fire Learning Network, the National Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network and the Indigenous Peoples Burning Network in Jacksonville, Florida. These groups are working primarily on two of the three “legs” of the Western Cohesive Wildland Fire Strategy- Resilient Landscapes and Fire Adapted Communities, although, response is represented by outstanding people in each network.

Yakima County Leaders Support Multiple Community “Roles” Engaged in Community Wildfire Resiliency

on Tue, 05/10/2016 - 10:58pm

Written by Andrea Ely, Yakima County Fire Marshal's Office

Like many areas in Washington State, the Yakima Valley contains many areas that have high to extreme wildfire risk. Our demographically diverse lands span from heavily forested vegetation to sage brush and grasslands. Our agricultural community with our desert hot summers add a significant amount of challenges in the event of a wildfire. It is these specific factors that make people like me, in the fire prevention field, hesitant to even speak those three little words: ”The Big One.”

A Trusted Translator: The Role of the Community Liaison in Creating Better Wildfire Outcomes

on Wed, 05/04/2016 - 7:57pm

Written by Karuna Greenberg, Salmon River Restoration Council

Editor's Note: A version of this post originally appeared on

If you’ve lived in the rural West for very long, chances are you’ve been affected by at least one major wildfire. Nearly every year a large number of communities are experiencing the real impacts of large wildfires in their backyards, and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

Business Resilience in North Central Washington

on Tue, 04/26/2016 - 4:15am

Written by Annie Schmidt, WA FAC LN Staff and Hilary Lundgren, Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition

The approach to business resilience in the Leavenworth area has evolved over the several years and is grounded in the belief that all segments of a community should know their risk and take action to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from wildfire. This Fire Adapted Community approach, when coupled with financial support from the National Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network and more recently, the Washington State Department of Commerce, has enabled both the Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition and the Washington State Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network to...

2015 Fire Season Motivates Upper Skagit Partners to Take Action

on Wed, 04/20/2016 - 6:00pm

Written by Chief Cody Watson, Newhalem-Diablo Fire Brigade (Seattle City Light)

I had one thing to do. One simple thing. Take pictures. “Just get some before, during, and after pictures. We won’t even make you work if you don’t want to….even though you need it!” quipped David Claybo, Seattle City Light’s Right-of-Way Lead worker. Such a simple task and I failed at it.

Luckily, someone else snapped a few photos as I was at home taking flu medicine and trying to comfort a sick family.

As I listened to the whine of a one year old with a temperature, others were listening to the whine of chainsaws creating some defensible space...

Washington Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network Holds Annual Meeting!

on Mon, 04/18/2016 - 8:34pm

The Washington Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network hosted its second annual meeting in Wenatchee, WA last week.   Participants learned more about strategies for adapting their communities to wildfire, shared lessons and challenges with each other, and had the opportunity to build relationships with other communities throughout the state.  We look forward to an exciting year of progress toward a more resilient Washington State and can't wait to share a little more about upcoming events and opportunities!  Stay tuned!

North Carolina TREX: New Perspectives with Prescribed Fire and Collaboration

on Thu, 03/10/2016 - 9:11pm

Written by Kara Karboski, WA FAC LN Staff

Snow. Ice. Rain. Not exactly the conditions you want when trying to perform a controlled burn.

A year ago I found myself in North Carolina for the first time, in the area known as the Sandhills located in the south central part of the state near Fayetteville. I was there for a training exchange or TREX, an experiential prescribed fire training program designed by  The Nature Conservancy and several Federal partners.

An Interview with FEMA Planner Brett Holt (Part 2)

on Thu, 03/03/2016 - 6:11pm

The Fire Adapted Communities Network (FAC Net) and Washington State FAC Learning Network (WA FAC) recently interviewed Brett Holt, Mitigation Planner in FEMA Region 10. The two-part interview series will be shared at and Part one provides an overview of how FEMA can support community fire adaption efforts, including ideas for community members and FEMA employees who are interested in partnering. Part two is focused on opportunities for communities in Region 10, and on more immediate assistance FEMA may have available.

The Role of Neighbors in a Fire Adapted Community

on Thu, 02/18/2016 - 1:12am

Written by Carolyn Berglund, Kittitas County Fire & Rescue #7

The Taylor Bridge Fire of August 2012. For many of us in the area impacted by this fire there is a feeling of before and after. Before the Taylor Bridge Fire I thought we were fairly safe living on the prairie. After, I knew that fire could travel 35 miles per hour through fuels similar to ours. Before, I worried about knapweed control. After, I preach defensible space. Before, I knew a few neighbors well enough to call friends. Most importantly, after, I have many wonderful neighbors that are friends and fellow advocates of wildfire resiliency!