1 2020

We are pleased to welcome two new Board Members in 2020.

Joaquin Ramirez Cisneros
Joaquin Ramirez Cisneros

Joaquin Ramirez Cisneros

Technosylva (San Diego, CA) & University of Leon (Spain).

Dr. Joaquin Ramirez is a Wildland Fire Technologist that has been working in the last 25 years on bridging the gap between scientists and end-users. From 2013 he moved from Spain to San Diego (CA), from where he works with agencies worldwide trying to convert into actionable tools the best science. He is the creator of several of the most advanced fire behavior software model implementations and decision support systems, including the Wildfire Analyst and fiResponse software tools. From 2011, Dr. Ramirez coordinates the first European M.S. in Forest Fires (www.masterfuegoforestal.es) with Prof. Rodriguez y Silva (UCO) and Prof. Molina (UdL). He is also a founder and active member of the Pau Costa Foundation.Joaquin earned his Ph.D. in Remote Sensing and GIS at the University of Leon in 2003, an M.S. in Forestry from the University of Lleida, and his B.S. in Forest Engineering from the Polytechnical University of Madrid, Spain.

Naomi Stephens
Naomi Stephens

Naomi Eva Stephens

Acting Executive Director Park Operations, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS)

Naomi Stephens is the Program Director, Future NPWS at the National Parks and Wildlife Service, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.   She is a member of the NSW Bush Fire Coordinating Committee Standing Advisory Sub-committee and represents Office of Environment and Heritage on the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), the AFAC Rural Land Management Group and the Forest Fire Management Group which reports to the Forestry and Forest Product Sub-committee of the Commonwealth Standing Council on Primary Industry (SCOPI). Prior to commencing in her current position, Naomi had 12 years of experience in bushfire management planning and suppression operations as part of her role as the NPWS Regional Operational Coordinator for the Hunter Region. Naomi is the Lead User Representative for the Prescribed Burning and Catchment Management Cluster research program under the Bushfire Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre.   She is a member of the steering committee for the research program NPWS partners with the NSW Rural Fire Service at the Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfire (CERMB) at the University of Wollongong.

Thank you to our outgoing Board Members for their dedicated service through the years.

  • Alen Slijepcevic, Outgoing IAWF President, Deputy Chief, Country Fire Authority, Australia. (Board Member 2014-2019).
  • Albert Simeoni, Outgoing Treasurer, Professor, Department of Fire Protection Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, USA. (Board Member 2014-2019).


Tim Brown, Mike Norton, WFMWG
Tim Brown, Desert Research Institute/IAWF Board of Directors and Mike Norton, Director General, Northern Forestry Centre, Natural Resources Canada formalized the agreement at the Wildland Fire Canada Conference in Ottawa in November.

Wildland Fire Management Working group, Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (WFMWG)

The International Association of Wildland Fire and the Wildland Fire Management Working Group of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers have adopted a Memorandum of Understanding to enable collaborative activities of mutual interest and benefit. 

This partnership will provide collaborative opportunities to provide leadership in global wildland fire management programs and collaborative activities such as conference, workshops, etc.

Since 1990, the IAWF has represented its members around the world who are working in or have an interest in wildfire management and research. In 2007, the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers approved the formation of the Wildland Fire Management Working Group (WFMWG).  WFMWG members are senior federal, provincial and territorial forestry officials. The WFMWG provides strategic advice and policy guidance on wildland fire management; promotes strategic improvement to wildland fire management in Canada; and guides the implementation of the Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy.

The IAWF looks forward to our partnership, which will include assisting with the organization of the Wildland Fire Canada Conference in 2021 as well as other collaborative projects.


Pau Costa Foundation

Collaboration in wildfire research, management and policy across international borders will be easier with the recent signing of an agreement between the International Association of Wildland Fire and the Pau Costa Foundation.

Pau Costa Foundation Agreement Oriol and Alen
Oriol Vilalta Caellas, executive director of Pau Costa Foundation, and Alen Slijepcevic, IAWF president, celebrate the new cross-boundary collaborations made possible by their new agreement.

The agreement was signed by the President of the IAWF, Alen Slijepcevic, and the Executive Director of Pau Costa Foundation, Oriol Vilalta Caellas, at the GEO-SAFE Wildfire conference in Melbourne in November 2019.

The IAWF represents its members around the world who are working in or have an interest in wildfire management and research. The Pau Costa Foundation was established in 2011 in Barcelona, Spain but works across Europe and internationally on the conduct and promotion of wildfire research, information and training.

The agreement acknowledges the common interests of the two organizations and the mutual benefits that could arise from working together in activities such as training and professional development, research, and the exchange of students, researchers and fire management personnel.

The IAWF and PCF will work together on ways to better exchange knowledge and ideas on wildfire. This could include conferences and workshops; research exchanges and funding proposals, and; publications, media and social media, including Wildfire magazine.


Next collaboration opens for IAWF Mentoring Program 

We invite you to participate, either as a mentor or mentee, in the next collaboration of our Mentoring Program.

What is mentoring?

The first mentioning of the word “mentor” goes back to an ancient Greek story about a young child called Telemachus who grew under the supervision of an old trusted friend of his father’s named Mentor. Since then, the name of this character started being used as a common term for “trusted tutor.”

Today, we use the word “mentor” for anyone who makes a positive, guiding influence on another person’s life. “Mentoring” is the process of direct transfer of experience and knowledge from one person to another.

IAWF’s Approach

The IAWF will have an open period for applications two times per year. After the applications are received and reviewed, we will match the mentors and mentees based on interests and geographic location. IAWF encourages both face-to-face mentoring and online remote mentoring, depending on the location of the participants. Both parties will need to mutually commit to six months. We will provide you with resources, i.e. checklists, agreements, suggestions, etc.

What makes a good mentor?

  • Commitment to the mentee’s learning and project goals.
  • Ability to provide positive feedback, encouragement, and advice when requested.
  • Interest in seeing and supporting the mentee’s growth and success in their professional or personal goals.
  • Ability to ask key questions to support the mentee to develop their problem-solving and creative thinking skills, and to be resilient and independent.
  • Ability to establish clear expectations and commitments, to express these to the mentee, and to ask for the same.
  • Generosity with tools and approaches that support
    others to learn
  • Willingness to share key contacts and networks with the mentee, and to source other areas of expertise when required.

Please complete the online application to show your expression of interest either as a mentor or mentee. 



  • Application period open: January 13–March 31, 2020
  • Review applications and introduce matches: April 1-30, 2020
  • Mentoring Period: May 1–October 31, 2020

If you have any questions, please contact Mikel Robinson at 406-625-7059 or [email protected]