Learn With Us
Learning and sharing is at the core of what we do.
We capture WAFAC member and partner experiences so that we can all work together to solve problems, build capacity, and ultimately enhance community resilience. Tap into a broad wealth of knowledge in our upcoming and previous learning opportunities that are open to everyone.
Previous Learning Opportunities
- Pre-planning for Wildfire Recovery
- American Sign Language Facilitator’s Toolkit (English and Spanish)
- House Bill 1099 – Climate and the Growth Management Act: The relationship to communities at risk to wildfire
- Demystifying Wildfire Insurance Coverage: A panel discussion with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner
- Fire in the Shrub-Steppe
- Map Your Neighborhood
- Effectively Using Social Media
- Natural Solutions – Biochar
- Wildfire Mitigation and Stewardship Crews
- Engaging Latinx Communities through Climate and Fire Adaptation
- Introduction to Fire Adapted Communities
Looking for more? Check out our Vimeo page!
Pre-Planning for Wildfire Recovery
Not all fires cause catastrophic damage, but whenthere is a loss of life or homes, or when fires are severe,it can take time for our landscapes and communities to recover.
This guide was created to help residents and local organizations to:
- start to the recovery process
- avoid post-fire hazards
- outline actions to help others recover from wildfire
This guide is a template that can be downloaded and adapted for your community.
To obtain an editable copy in English or Spanish, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quinn Butler, Deputy Human Services Program Supervisor for the WA Emergency Management Division, provides an overview of Pre-Disaster Recovery Plans. Learn what it is and how the recovery planning process itself can lead to a more effective and efficient distribution of resources and more equitable recovery outcomes following a disaster.
Carlene Anders, Okanogan Long Term Recovery Group, and Quinn Butler, Washington Emergency Management Division, guide us through the role of community organizations active in disaster – and how these groups coordinate recovery efforts and align with long-term recovery initiatives.
Climate and the Growth Management Act: The relationship to communities at risk to wildfire
Watch a briefing on the benefits and impacts of HB 1099 – Improving the State’s Climate Response through Update to the Comprehensive Planning Framework.
- Learn how HB 1099 will address land-use planning in the wildland urban inteface and community resiliency
- Get overview of the State Legislature website
- How to take actions to share your support for HB 1099 with your network and elected officials
Hosted by: WAFAC and the Washington Environmental Council
Dr. Liz Walker, Clean Air Methow, facilitates a discussion around air quality, smoke, and communities. Learn about several strategies to coordinate smoke readiness, including the foundation of air quality literacy and low-cost interventions to reduce exposure.
Katie Fields, Forests and Communities Program Manager, Washington Conservation Action, shares how comprehensive plans, hazard mitigation plans, and community wildfire protection plans can be integrated with development, climate, and wildfire initiatives – and which counties will be updating these plans. (HB 1181)
American Sign Language Toolkit: A Guide for Facilitators
Communication is critical in helping people to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster. When developing our communication strategies, events, and outreach materials, we as community organizers, facilitators, project managers, education specialists, etc., who are working with residents in our place, must communicate clearly and specifically, while also taking into account native languages.
With a lot of inspiration and help from amazing people, who shared some wonderful resources, we have pulled together an American Sign Language (ASL) Toolkit for Facilitators. This toolkit serves as a planning guide to help:
- Schedule an ASL Interpreter
- Prepare presenters, facilitators, and the audience for ASL
- Coordinate event logistics to support ASL interpretation
- Communicate with the person requesting accommodations
A virtual panel discussion with the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC).
- Learn about the role of the OIC in supporting wildfire preparedness and recovery efforts.
- How the OIC can help support consumers who can be or have been affected by wildfires.
- Options for insurance coverage.
- Current trends in the industry.
Fire in the Shrub-Steppe Webinar Series
The sagebrush steppe is one of the largest ecosystems in North America and one of the most threatened due to human land use conversions, non-native plant invasions, and wildfire. This five-part virtual series will introduce us to the ecology of this unique ecosystem, the past and current role and impact of fire on the landscape, and to many of the brilliant folks working every day to manage and protect critical habitat, wildlife, and communities living with fire in the shrub-steppe.
Alison Dean, Central Oregon Fire Management Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and Marth Brabec, City of Boise, will provide an overview of historic and modern fire behavior in different communities of the sagebrush biome, shrub-steppe ecology, and post-fire restoration considerations.
Pygmy rabbits, greater sage grouse, songbirds, and Umtanum desert buckwheat…oh my! Learn how fire and land management can impact key threatened and endangered species and the top three things to take into consideration before taking action where these species call sage brush their home.
Vegetation management in the shrub steppe is critical to protecting communities and meeting landscape management goals. Chris Schactschneider, OSU Extension, and Seth Hulett, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, will share examples of how grazing and mechanical treatments can be used to change fire behavior.
A diverse group of panelists highlights a variety of engagement strategies in diverse communities. Caty Johnson from Nuestra Casa, Jerry McAdams from the Boise Fire Department, Jon Riley from Chelan County Fire District 1, and Kirsten Cook from Okanogan Conservation District will share their approaches, successes, and strategies for stirring up action.
Disturbance events, such as overgrazing and the catastrophic fires, in our shrub-steppe landscape, can kick-start a negative feedback loop with the invasion of noxious weeds. These invasive species can have a direct effect on services and ecological benefits provided by the shrug steppe landscape. Learn what we can do to minimize the spread of invasive plant species and how native seeds and grasses can be used to restore this brittle system.
The Map Your Neighborhood program teaches neighbors to rely on each other during the hours or days before the fire, medical, police or utility responders arrive. It is designed to improve disaster readiness at the neighborhood level, 15-20 homes, or a defined area that you can canvas in 1 hour. Hear more about the origins of the program, how it works, and how two communities in Washington are using the program to identify neighborhood leaders and coordinate emergency preparedness and response efforts for wildfire and other disasters.
Panelists: Kiana Kabanje, Disaster Preparedness Outreach Program Manager, Washington Emergency Management Division; Leslie Dempsey, Whatcom County Fire District 11; Joan Moye, Whatcom County Fire District 11; Jessica Rounds, Disaster Case Manager, Okanogan County Long Term Recovery
The Washington Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network partnered with the Tools for Engaging Landowners Effectively team and the Nature Conservancy to host a three-part virtual workshop series on how to use social media to effectively connect with your audience and convince them to adopt a desired behavior to take action.
Fundamental marketing concepts like audience segmentation, message clarity, and an outcome orientation apply to social media. This virtual workshop is a quick refresher of basic Tools for Engaging Landowners Effectively concepts, with a special focus on how to reach and influence your audiences more effectively via social media.
There is a lot of competition for our attention online. How can you make your social media content stand out and ensure it reaches your desired audiences? This session will cover best practices for crafting social media content and help you better understand how to tailor your content for different social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and use paid advertising.
Now that you have an understanding of your audiences and how to tailor content effectively for social media, we’ll bring it all together in a fun practice session. We’ll use some real-world scenarios to add context through tangible examples related to network members’ work. These thought exercises will help you understand why social media matters and how it can fit your unique communications needs.
Charcoal production, also known as biochar, has been recognized as an emerging technology for fuel mitigation strategies. A form of bio-mimicry, biochar production replicates and enhances the role of old-growth forest fires that converted 4-6% of the biomass into charcoal. This presentation covers a range of research on the soil, tree response, and forest carbon cycle benefits to help incentivize adoption as a part of fire risk reduction efforts and illustrates the role of charcoal in post-fire recovery and soil restoration.
Presenter: Kai Hoffman-Krull, San Juan Islands Conservation District
We rely a lot on landowners to remove and dispose of vegetation from around their homes, but what happens if we begin to build workforce capacity to not only mitigate wildfire, but to steward our lands so that we can all better live with fire? Meet two communities in Washington who are building their teams and learn from their successes (and sometimes the hard truths) in creating and sustaining a workforce.
Jay McLaughlin, Executive Director, Mt. Adams Resource Stewards:
David Walker, Fire Chief, Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue
Kara Karboski, Community Prescribed Fire Program Manager, and Joe Hill, Forest & Community Resilience Specialist, Cascadia Conservation District, participated in a learning exchange. Learn how they used what they learned to get work done on the ground and how burning together can build community capacity.
As our nation’s demographic grows and changes rapidly, we too must learn to grow and change with it.
Engaging the Latinx population – and all communities – in fire adaptation is a necessity. Diverse spaces lead us to a better understanding, increase innovation and cooperation, and longer-lasting results. Join Carlos Zegarra from Sachamama as he shares best practices to effectively and authentically engage Latinx in conservation by looking inside ourselves, evaluate our behaviors, patterns, and mental models to understand how they permeate our daily lives and collaborative efforts.
Presenter: Carlos Zegarra, Sachamama