2 quarter


Board members elected to executive positions

 Steve Miller was elected IAWF vice president by the association’s board of directors at the March board meeting. Miller had served as secretary since 2017. Miller is the regional director of fire and aviation for the USDA Forest Service Region 9 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Sara McAllister was elected treasurer. McAllister is a research mechanical engineer with the U.S. Forest Service at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, Montana.

Michele Steinberg was elected secretary. Steinberg is the wildfire division director at the National Fire Protection Association in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Thank you to outgoing vice president Euan Ferguson and outgoing treasurer Michael Gollner, who both remain on the IAWF board.

IAWF Board of Directors 

Butler named outstanding editor 

Photos of Bret Butler and wife Suzanne
Bret Butler hopes to remain in touch with wildland fire research, but looks forward to spending time with his wife Suzanne.
Photo courtesy Bret Butler

The reputation and performance of a journal’s editorial board is vital to maintain quality and continually improve the stature and visibility of the publication. On this note, we are pleased to announce that Bret Butler is the recipient of the Outstanding Editor Award of the International Journal of Wildland Fire for 2020. Please join us in congratulating Butler for his many years of dedicated and exceptional service to the Journal as an associate editor.  

Butler began his career with the USDA Forest Service in 1992 when he was hired by renowned researchers Dick Rothermel and Don Latham. Butler’s initial focus was to manage the experimental program directed at developing a new fire-spread model. In 1994 Butler worked with his colleagues at the Fire Sciences Laboratory and the Missoula Technology and Development Center to complete the fire behaviour analysis of the 1994 South Canyon Fire in Colorado. This was a watershed point in Butler’s career and led to his subsequent focus on developing more quantitative guidelines for firefighter safety zones and escape routes. Butler’s analysis also led to his efforts to develop a tool for simulating winds at a fine spatial resolution and eventually the development of the WindNinja wind modelling tool.  

In the mid-1990s Butler worked to save the IAWF and IJWF, which had fallen on tough financial times. Butler was part of a team that organized several international conferences, supported the reinvigoration of the IJWF, and assisted in publishing a backlog of accepted but unpublished papers. Butler was a member of the board of directors of the IAWF for several years and has been a member of the editorial advisory committee as well as an associate editor for the IJWF since that time. We are pleased to add the 2020 IJWF Outstanding Editor Award to Butler’s impressive list of achievements, and whole-heartedly thank him for his exceptional service to the Journal.

In retirement, Butler hopes to remain in touch with wildland fire research, but looks forward to spending time with Suzanne, his wife of 33 years, exploring our marvellous world.

Canadian conference opens call for speakers

The IAWF seeks presentation proposals for this year’s Wildland Fire Canada Conference Oct. 25-29; the deadline for submissions is June 1. 

The Wildland Fire Canada Conference brings together wildland fire management agencies, partners, and collaborators from Canada and around the world. Canada has a multiplicity of fire-prone environments that create unique wildland fire challenges and opportunities.

Conference organizers are optimistically planning a hybrid conference and will evaluate restrictions and safety to determine whether to pivot to a fully virtual conference.

Conference Webpage


Strategy workshop opportunities available

The fourth National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop will be held in Asheville, North Carolina, Oct. 4-8.

This interactive workshop will provide practitioners and decision makers with tools and ideas that support positive fire outcomes, and identify opportunities for accelerated implementation of the U.S. National Wildland Fire Cohesive Strategy. The workshop program will focus on our theme: the hard truths of risk that are inherent in implementing cross-boundary, large landscape, and community-wide implementation. 

Organizers are planning in-person and virtual sessions but will evaluate the pandemic and vaccine situations in June and decide whether to pivot to a fully virtual learning opportunity. 

If you are unsure whether you can present in person, please do not hesitate to submit a proposal; there will be some remote live and pre-recorded presentations regardless. 

Workshop Webpage

Flagship event in 2022 to focus on climate 

The IAWF plans to hold a flagship international conference in Pasadena, California, and Melbourne, Australia, May 23-27, 2022. Fire & Climate: Impacts, Issues & Futures, will concentrate attention on one of the most important forces shaping wildfire and better prepare to respond to this formidable challenge. 

Mark your calendars!

View archived Ignite Talk Series  

The IAWF workforce resilience sub-committee is a part of IAWF’s diversity and inclusivity committee. Each month, the sub-committee offers presentations as part of the Workforce Resilience Ignite Talk Series. Previous talks are listed below; the recordings are on our webpage. 

Watch for announcement for future talks in your email.

Emotional Intelligence for Wildland Fire Professionals

Why it matters and why you should care
Presented by Kelly Martin, (ret) Chief of Fire and Aviation, Yosemite National Park, National Park Service

Nine Insights from Living with PTSD: From Darkness to the Light, a Wildland Firefighter Perspective
Presented by Marc Titus, Nevada Division of Forestry’s Fire Adapted Communities

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: A Practice for Challenging Times and All Times. A way of being happy
Presented by Michelle Reugebrink, Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher and Master Coach

Leading towards a more inclusive wildland fire community: “Just because it has always been does not mean it has to continue to be”
Presented by Terry Baker, CEO, Society of American Foresters