To wrap up the Mountain Studies Institute's Forest & Fire Learning Series, you will learn about local wildfire resources and mitigation efforts with Alex Graf and Gem Boone. Alex will cover some of the many programs and services offered by Wildfire Adapted Partnership (WAP) while Gem shares her experience as a neighborhood ambassador for the Elk Steam Ranch in the East Canyon Community. Her powerful story will outline the coordinated and community-wide response to the East Canyon Fire in the summer of 2020 - by the time Gem received her emergency alert text with the mandatory evacuation order, the entire community was mostly through its evacuation plan, phone-trees were completed, livestock was loaded, and Gem herself was already driving out of the community with all of her belongings. Brad Pietruszka will conclude with a presentation showing seasonal outlooks for both wildfire and prescribed fire across the San Juan National Forest and surrounding areas for 2021. Brad will explain the concept of fire “debt”, or the amount of fire that is missing from our landscape, what that means in our changing climate, and the two paths we can take to prepare for its’ inevitable return.
• Alex Graf: Montezuma County Coordinator, Wildfire Adapted Partnership
• Gem Boone: Neighborhood Ambassador, East Canyon Community
• Brad Pietruszka: Fuels Program Manager, San Juan National Forest, USDA Forest Service