Editor’s note: This week, our blog manager Annie Leverich is attending a Women-In-Fire Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (WTREX) in north-central Nebraska at the Niobrara Valley Preserve. WTREX, modeled after Prescribed Fire Training Exchanges (TREX), are inclusive events to support women and other underrepresented practitioners in fire to develop skills, connections, and qualifications. In this blog, Fire Networks staff share some of the many stories and resources available to learn more about WTREX. Stay tuned for stories and photos from WTREX Nebraska upon Annie’s return! Blog cover photo credit: Jennifer Fawcett.

WTREX began in 2016 after a group of women at a TREX event in 2015 found themselves connecting over their shared experiences and challenges of being a woman in the fire world. Since then, the program has grown from a once-a-year event in the United States to an international program with partners and events all around the world. Detailed information about WTREX and the program’s influence and history can be found on the Fire Networks website, WTREX storymap, and WTREX Fact Sheet. To follow along with WTREX current events and other content related to women-in-fire, you can follow the program on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

This video, from the very first WTREX in 2016, gives a great overview of the program:

WTREX events are now held internationally. This documentary about WTREX South Africa 2023 was recently released:

Earlier in 2024, the first WTREX in Europe was held in Portugal. They put together an awesome YouTube playlist with footage and stories from the event here:

WTREX has been featured over the years on the Fire Networks blog (previously known as the FAC Net blog). Below is a selection of stories on past WTREX events from the blog archives, many of which are written by WTREX co-founder and lead organizer Lenya Quinn-Davidson:

Feeling the Power at WTREX

Lenya wrote this excellent piece about the WTREX held in Virginia in 2022, which included some meaningful conversations about the power and strength we all hold within us.

The Evolution of Leadership in Fire: Stories from Three WTREX Leaders

In this blog, Lenya recaps a conversation held between three major contributors to a 2017 WTREX, held in Yosemite National Park.

Indulging in Fire: Reflections from the Women-in-Fire Training Exchange

Lenya reflects on the 2019 WTREX, held in Florida – in particular: “the ethereal components of the event that now linger: the energy, the comradery, the odd sense that we probably would have all stayed there a lot longer if that were a reasonable option.”

Reflections on the Women-in-Fire Prescribed Fire Training Exchange

In this blog, FAC Net Director Emily Troisi, who attended the first WTREX in Northern California in 2016, shares her experience of the event as someone who was relatively new to fire at the time – showcasing how welcoming WTREX events are to folks both new and seasoned in the world of fire.

To learn even more about the program, check out the additional partner content below:

Read this USDA Forest Service piece about the 2023 North Carolina WTREX, Southern collaborative training exchange promotes women in fire opportunity.

Listen to Deborah Landau (Director of Ecological Management, Maryland) talk fire and WTREX on an episode of the Good Together podcast, “Not All Wildfires Are Bad: How Controlled Burns Can Be Medicine for the Land.” 

Read Into the (Prescribed) Fire, a piece focused on the 2023 WTREX, but also touching on the history of WTREX, and its international reach with participants from Australia and Canada.

Dive deeper into the history of WTREX in this feature developed by TNC Virginia – Fire Women.