Highlights from the 2014 WUI Conference
Authors: Wendy Fulks
The 12th annual Wildland-Urban Interface Conference wrapped up in Reno, Nevada yesterday. The FAC Learning Network and the FAC Coalition were well-represented, and awareness of FAC seems to be considerably greater than it was at the conference last year. Below are a few highlights:
There was a large fire adapted communities section in the exhibition hall that was staffed by a number of Coalition members and which received a good deal of traffic. (We had Network maps on hand and gave this handout to interested visitors.)
Meeting organizers unveiled a new FAC PSA during the opening session. The Hero in You highlights a resident taking the proper actions to become fire adapted, which equates to being a leader and thus their own hero. The International Association of Fire Chiefs’ (IAFC) Ready Set Go! Program was the lead on this project (with support from the FAC Coalition), and they can provide the video file to groups that would like to use it. The video was shot in Towns County, Georgia, a Network pilot community and if you watch carefully, you will be able to catch a glimpse of Frank Riley, hub leader from the Chestatee/Chattahoochee RC&D.
Speaking of Frank, he attended the conference and gave a talk about his FAC coalition-building strategies and successes. On Wednesday, Molly Mowery, Shawn Stokes (IAFC) and Steve Quarles (Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety) presented during a session dedicated to the Cohesive Strategy and FAC. (You can see Molly’s presentation here.)
The FAC Coalition met for a few hours on Tuesday, and we were joined by a half-dozen insurance industry representatives. Steve Quarles gave a presentation on his research, and Molly and I provided an update on the Network that was well received.
Molly and I had conversations with dozens of fire chiefs, firefighters, Firewise coordinators, community members and state and federal agency fire staff. Many people expressed interest in the Network and seemed happy to hear that they could keep tabs on our work through this blog.
What were some of your WUI Conference highlights?