Presenter: Mark Melvin
Annual wildfire activity has been tracked for decades. These data are necessary for securing resources, instituting fire-fighter training standards, monitoring trends, providing public safety measures, and guiding national policy needed to manage wildfire across the U.S. Much less is known about prescribed fire activities, but the needs are similar. How much and where prescribed fire occurs year-to-year, and to what degree it meets resource needs is poorly understood. A national evaluation that specifically focuses on the scale at which prescribed fire occurs, what programs support prescribed fire, and identifies factors that limit prescribed fire use is nonexistent. These are all relevant questions necessary to make informed policy and programmatic decisions. To aid in gaining a better understanding of prescribed fire use, the National Association of State Foresters and the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils collaborated in early 2012 to conduct a national prescribed fire use survey of all state agencies responsible for prescribed fire activities. Mark Melvin will present results from the survey.
In addition, Melvin will also describe the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils, an organization built to assist fire practitioners, policymakers, regulators, and citizens with issues surrounding prescribed fire use, and serve as a forum for exchange of knowledge and ideas.