Hilary is the Washington Fire Adapted Communities (WAFAC) Learning Network Coordinator. She works to connect and support Washingtonians who are working on wildfire mitigation, adaptation, and community resilience. Currently, WAFAC supports eleven member communities that represent diverse parts of the state and interacts with various partners to promote new and better ways to achieve better fire outcomes.
Hilary’s background includes a Forest Management degree from Oregon State University, and work experience in silviculture and fire suppression with the USFS; forestry, contract administration, and rights-of-way with the Washington Department of Natural Resources; and serving as the Director of the Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition.
State Network Coordination
As a team, the WAFAC Network staff works to keep communities connected and learning, as well as helping to share their hard work! Here are some 2017 and 2018 highlights from Washington. If you would like to learn more about any of these projects, please feel free to contact me!
--Chelan County Fire District 1 (Wenatchee, WA). The service area includes roughly 45,000 residents, industrial agriculture, manufacturing, and a variety of recreation resources. Featured projects: Development of a fuels reduction and home assessment crew; multi-landowner training burns with the WUI with various federal, state, and local fire-centric entities; robust outreach program (English and Spanish).
--Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition (Leavenworth, WA). Featured projects: Local collaborative that supports USFS and private lands fuels reductions projects in the WUI; promotes business continuity planning in a tourism-based economy.
--Flowery Trails Community Association (near Spokane, WA). Homeowners association. Featured projects: Supplies water, sewage disposal, enforcing covenants, and wildland fire preparedness; home hardening; reducing flammable materials in the HIZ.
--Four Mound Firewise Community/Spokane County Fire District 5's (Nine Mile Falls, WA). Featured projects: boots-on-the-ground and knockin'-on-doors to provide educational resources to farmers and ranchers, families, and kids.
--Hidden Valley Swauk/Kittitas Conservation District (Cle Elum, WA/Kittitas County). Partners with landowners, public agencies, tribes and the general public to create and maintain resilient working landscapes through voluntary incentive based measures. Featured project: Outreach strategy using StoryMap. To learn more: http://kccd.net/firewise.htm
--Lake Wenatchee Fire Adapted Communities Coalition (Plain, WA). Featured projects: outreach program using Ready, Set, Go!; evacuation planning; wildfire risk assessments; Firewise Communities.
--Lincoln County Conservation District (Lincoln County, WA). Featured projects: assists landowners with roadside fuel breaks in sage grouse habitat; works with agricultural producers and farmers.
--Mount Adams Resource Stewards (Glenwood, WA). Featured projects: cross boundary management in the WUI to enhance forest resiliency and habitat conditions, and reduce the risk of wildfire to homes and businesses; prescribed burning on USFWS refuge and Mt. Adams Community Forest lands.
--Okanogan Conservation District (Okanogan County, WA). Featured projects: fire in the shrub steppe; helping farmers and ranchers better prepare for before, during, and after the fire; supports recovery efforts following the 2014 and 2015 wildfire seasons.
--Seattle City Light (City of Seattle PUD). Featured projects: working with the National Park Service and the town of Diablo, WA to model fuel reduction treatments; evacuation planning.
--Yakima Valley FAC Coalition (Yakima, WA). Featured project: serves to convene landscape, response, and community partners to share their work and jointly collaborate on projects.
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Diversity and Inclusion
We working toward blending different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives into the WAFAC Learning Network. Over the next year we hope to broaden innovative engagement strategies by partnering with community-minded leaders who can help reach under-served and underrepresented populations to enhance fire adaptation in Washington.
Want to chat? Drop us a line!
Prescribed Fire Training Exchange
In 2017, in collaboration with the Washington Prescribed Fire Council, Hilary helped support the development and implementation of Washington's first Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX). 25 participants from 8 states attending the training. Participants received training in preparing burn plans, fuels monitoring, media training, and lot's of burning on private and federal lands!
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