Building a global approach to the wildfire challenge.
This conference aims to bring attention to one of the most important forces shaping wildfire and better prepare how we can focus and respond to this formidable challenge in the new decade.
The Camp Fire in 2018 and the Australian wildfires of 2019-20 highlight the challenges we face as a global wildland fire community. These events are not isolated, nor are they confined to traditionally fire-prone countries. Greece, Bolivia, Chile, Israel, Greenland, Russia, Canada, Spain, Portugal are among other countries facing similar challenges.
This conference will feature insights, case studies, innovations and opinions from around the world to begin to form a collective, global approach to the wildfire challenge. California has been at the forefront of innovation in wildland fire management and holding a conference in California to fully leverage the lessons learned and adaptive behaviors that will continue to emerge after the Camp Fire will benefit the entire international wildland fire community. The cascading impacts from fires, the cumulative effects from successive wildfires and the ability to be resilient in the face of these challenges are a call to the wildland fire community to think smarter, faster, and entertain novel ideas to prepare for, respond to and recover from these events.
Wildfire is a wicked problem and demands that we address the complexities that contribute to the social, biophysical and design elements that contribute to present day dilemmas. An international gathering that encompasses the entirety of the wildland fire community will help us address these complexities.
This conference will merge the topics that the IAWF has established over three decades through its regular suite of conferences including the Wildland Fire Safety Summit, Human Dimensions of Wildfire, and the Fire Behavior and Fuels conference. These include the interdependent effects related to human built infrastructure, land use and housing patterns, insurance availability and viability, air quality and smoke management, community safety, public warnings, combined effect of climate change and fire on values such as biodiversity, carbon storage, water yields and quality, supply of timber, infestations and drought, impact on private businesses and property tax base, rising costs of emergency response for federal agencies and states, as well as the looming financial threat to counties and municipalities, long term land management approaches, wildfire response, changing fire behavior and suppression, and fire fighter workforce safety, care and well-being. Harvesting experience, sharing lessons learned and anticipating how to address the unforeseen challenges that yet await create a pressing need for us to convene an all-hands international conference at this time.