It has been more than 20 years since the social impacts of wildfires have begun to draw significant attention from policymakers and land managers. And the adverse effects on people, biodiversity, landscapes and infrastructure show no signs of abating given current trends in climate change. As a global community of practitioners and scientists interested in human dimensions and safety, we seek to spark discussion, interaction and engaged conversation about whether we are focusing on the right problem framings and consequent solutions to deal with these on-going wildfire challenges.

Since 1997, the Wildland Fire Safety Summit has been the gathering place for members of the international wildland fire community to focus on safety: to discuss significant events and trends in safety, to promote best practices in safety training and operations, to reveal safety related research findings, and to explore new approaches to safety.

Since 2007, the Human Dimensions Conference has been a gathering place to present, discuss, and learn about the latest research findings, management innovations, and best practices in the US and elsewhere related to human behavior.

This joint conferences offers a forum where past experience and lessons learned are documented, current work showcased, and emerging ideas/technology presented to provide a strong foundation that will facilitate setting a course to the future that addresses and responds to developing challenges locally, regionally, and globally.


Registration is now open. REGISTER TODAY

Registration includes all sessions and social activities. There will be an additional charge for workshops and field trips.

Early Registration (July 1 – August 31)
IAWF Member  $425
Non-Member  $525
Student – IAWF Member  $200
Student – Non-Member  $250
Student Volunteer  $125

Regular Registration (September 1 – November 15)
IAWF Member  $475
Non-Member  $575
Student – IAWF Member  $200
Student – Non-Member  $250
Student Volunteer  $125

Late Registration (November 15 – Conference)
IAWF Member  $525
Non-Member  $625
Student – IAWF Member  $200
Student – Non-Member  $250
Student Volunteer  $125


Renaissance Asheville Hotel
31 Woodfin Street
Asheville, North Carolina 28801

We have reserved a block of hotel rooms at the gov’t per diem rate of $129/night. Book Today to reserve this guaranteed rate.

Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) is serviced by American, United, Delta, Elite and Allegiant airlines, with direct flights from Charlotte, Chicago, Newark, Atlanta, Vero Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Washington D.C.

Discounts for United Flights (5-10% depending on fare class)

Go to United Airlines the select “all search options”. In the promotion box type ZFFS398532.

US States and Canada – use a professional travel agency, book online at or call United Reservations Meetings Desk at 800-426-1122 and provide the Z Code ZFFS and Agreement Code 398532.

Passengers outside the US or Canada – use a professional travel agency, book online at or email [email protected] and provide your preferred itinerary, agreement code 398532 and Z Code ZFFS. Please allow 24 hours for email requests to be processed.

Other airports nearby
Greenville Spartanburg, SC (GSP) – 77 miles
Charlotte Douglas, NC (CLT) – 125 miles

50% of the US Population is within 600 miles of Asheville, and it is conveniently located at the intersection of I-26 and I-40.

Some other fun things about Asheville!

Asheville was names one of Forbes Travel Guide’s 18 Top Destinations Of 2018!

West Asheville – It’s become one of Asheville’s trendiest neighborhoods, yet the city’s quirky, innovative food mecca still feels like a hidden treasure.

Mountain-made fabrics, coastal-inspired plants, Piedmont pottery and art: We’ve found five ways to add warmth to your home with North Carolina accessories.


Steering Committee
Sarah McCaffrey – Co-chair
Toddi Steelman – Co-chair
Jesse Abrams
Al Beaver
Jim Fox
Steven Miller
Mikel Robinson
Oriol Vilalta

Program Committee
Kelsy Gibos-Chair
Emily Jane Davis
Alexandra Paige Fischer
Shelby Gales
Tony Jarret
Sarah McCaffrey
Travis Paveglio
Mikel Robinson
Toddi Steelman
Matthew Thompson
Haley Williams

Coming soon

Call for Presentations – (PDF)

In an effort to shake things up, question convention and challenge the status quo, we solicit your help in submitting creative panels, proposals, and papers that dare to think outside the box in how we have been thinking about and framing the wildfire problem.  In addition to traditional academic and practitioner presentations, we offer the opportunity to bring forward participatory, interactive and workshop-like ideas to help our community stretch our collective imagination about how we are defining our problems and solutions.

Deadline for submissions has been extended to September 10.  Presenters will be notified by September 15. 


We are looking for proposals that will:

  • Question conventional framing and assumptions underlying existing fire management practices
  • Demonstrate more holistic thinking about fire management
  • Unpack how status-quo solutions are not working
  • Highlight different or non-traditional skill sets/ points of view
  • Provide insight on how perspectives from other fields could inform thinking
  • Cultivate a practitioner perspective by encouraging attendance of fire fighter/seasonal staff and local groups/organizations working in wildfire.

Following is a list of potential presentation topics:


  • Organizational discipline/ performance/ learning
  • Leadership
  • Aviation/air operations
  • HRO/resilience engineering
  • Firefighter Wellness and Survivability
  • Safety planning/ preparedness
  • Crew dynamics
  • Incident Management Team dynamics
  • Succession planning
  • Decision support technology and processes


  • Working with homeowners
  • Understanding community scale dynamics
  • Working across ownerships/ Co-management
  • Cultural Fire Management
  • Resilience and adaptive capacity
  • Coupled human and natural systems
  • Evacuation concerns’
  • Role of local organizations/emergency responders
  • Wildland urban interface
  • Role of Social networks
  • Effective outreach/communication
  • Youth capability and capacity
  • Communication of alerts and warnings
  • Community participation
  • Behavioral insights

Risk – management/communities

  • Understanding fire risk to firefighters
  • Risk management
  • Risk sharing
  • Role of risk attitudes
  • Risk informed decision making

General topic areas

  • Diversity Concerns
  • Communications
  • Prescribed fires/resource benefit fires
  • Economics
  • Law and policy
  • Natural Hazards
  • Disseminating and applying science
  • Shared responsibility
  • Managing uncertainty/Complexity
  • Group sensemaking
  • Critical thinking
  • Key lessons learned
  • Health impacts
  • Applying and adapting standards
  • Equipment and technology
  • Weather
  • Other

Information you will need to submit your proposal

Presentation Title:
Contact Information (name, title, affiliation, phone, email)
Type of Presentation

  • Traditional 20-minute presentation
  • Micro-Talk – 10-minute presentation
  • Deeper Dive/Interactive Session – 60-120 minutes – hands on, interactive sessions, round tables, participatory format, brainstorming sessions.
  • Panel Session – 60-120 minutes – multiple presenters on similar topic
  • Poster Presentation
  • Other – please describe

Abstract: 400 words or less, please use as much non-technical language as possible, and that it described the areas that will be specifically address in the presentation. Accepted abstracts will be included in the final program as submitted

Presentation Format Information: Please share your vision of the presentation, the set-up, the timing, the people involved, special needs, etc.
Additional Presenters/Authors: Name, title, affiliation, email
Student Presenter: Yes or No
Presenter Bio (100 words or less)

Presenter Notice: All accepted presenters will be required to register and pay for the conference no later than November 12th.

A formal Conference Proceeding will be published online after the conference, all authors are encouraged to submit a full paper or extended abstract.  Your abstract should be submitted in final form to us, it will not be reviewed or edited. All proceedings manuscripts must be reviewed by two qualified experts prior to submission.  No distinction will be made between presentations or posters. All abstracts accepted to the Conference will be published as originally submitted unless the authors submit a revised abstract by the proceedings deadline of January 31, 2019.


Tentative Program Summary
Monday, December 10
Afterhours Networking

Tuesday, December 11
Sessions and exhibition
Poster Session with Brunch or Lunch
Social Reception with Exhibitors
Afterhours Networking

Wednesday, December 12
Morning Sessions and exhibition
Field trips in the afternoon and early evening

Thursday, December 13
Sessions and exhibition

Friday, December 14
Sessions with an early end time

Coming soon…

Call for Workshop Proposals (PDF)

The workshops will take place on Monday, December 10, 2018, the day preceding the 15th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit & 5th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference in Asheville, North Carolina.

The purpose of the workshops is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners in wildland fire to discuss and exchange interests on a defined topic. We view these workshops as an opportunity for technology transfer: the process to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wide range of users who can then further develop and apply them.

There will be a nominal registration fee for participants ($10-$30); this fee will cover the cost of the meeting rooms, refreshments and audio-visual equipment.

Proposals should contain the following information

  • The title of the workshop
  • The names, affiliations, email addresses and phone numbers of the workshop instructor(s)
  • A short bio (100 words) of the workshop instructors, including a description of their qualifications relative to the topic area
  • The proposed length of the workshop (we anticipate offering 2-hour, 4-hour, and 8-hour workshops; contact the conference organizers regarding other workshop lengths)
  • A brief description of the workshop
  • The maximum number of participants (if any). Workshops with less than the minimum may be cancelled at the discretion of the conference organizers, TBD).
  • Any special facility needs (e.g., LCD Projector, computer lab, internet access for attendees, etc.)

The evaluation criteria include overall quality and the fit with respect to the Conference program.

Submit your proposal  

The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2018.  Notifications of accepted workshop will be announced by October 1, 2018

If you have any questions, please contact Mikel Robinson at [email protected] or (406) 531-8264.

Sponsorship Prospectus

We would like to invite you to participate as a sponsor and/or exhibitor at the 15th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit and 5th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference in Asheville, North Carolina, December 10-14, 2018.

Don’t miss these sponsorship opportunities designed for organizations who want access and exposure to decision makers in the Wildland Fire Community.

  • Network with 200+ professionals from the wildland fire community.
  • Increase your visibility, and your organizations strong commitment to IAWF and the entire wildland fire community.
  • Expand opportunities with existing clients.
  • Build new relationships.

Exhibitor Package ($1,250)
Booth Space (Monday evening, Tuesday—Thursday)

  • 10 x 8 exhibit space, including pipe, drape, table and chairs
  • One full conference pass including catering and social functions (Add’l reps $300/each)
  • Listing in conference program booklet and conference webpage
  • List of conference attendees

Exhibitor/Sponsorship Information
Your support of this event will help us keep registration fees low and provide opportunities to present research and management findings to professionals working in the fields of social science, fire ecology, fire management, forest management, and related disciplines. All sponsors will be recognized and acknowledge upon their commitment of sponsorship.

Reserve your booth today!

Get involved by donating some of your time during the conference as a volunteer.  Anyone is eligible to volunteer; however, students will have first preference.   You will be eligible for a discounted registration fee of $125. Volunteers are expected to work at least 5 hours and help with tasks such as moderating sessions, helping at registration, and more.  After you register as a volunteer, we will send you more information and the link to the volunteer schedule.

Shift Descriptions
Audio Visual/Presentation Gathering – Monitor the speaker ready room and collect presentations from speakers during assigned hours. This entails copying presentations from a thumb drive or CD onto a computer and placed in the appropriate session folder. The job requires knowledge of computers and PowerPoint.

Registration Desk – Work at the IAWF registration desk during the conference. Give attendees their registration badges and materials at check-in and answer general questions. This job involves a lot of talking.

Exhibitor Assistance – Assist exhibitors with setting up their exhibits.

Miscellaneous Helper – Assist with activities or needs as they arise.

Let us know if you have any questions. Email

Early Registration Opens: June 18
Call for Presentations: June 18 – Extended to September 10
Presenters Notified: Extended to September 24
Program finalized: October 15
Hotel Room Block Expires: November 14
Conference: December 10-14

The IAWF and Conference Organizing Committee are committed to hosting a sustainable and inclusive conference.

This includes:

  • Selecting a venue committed to responsible green practices; 
  • Providing limited printed materials;
  • Providing a Mobile Application (Whova) with digital agenda;
  • Providing recycling receptacles throughout the venue;
  • Providing thoughtful giveaways (sustainable and useful);
  • Working with the venue to provide sustainable catering choices, and using local food vendors as much as possible.

Family Friendly Conference
If you are breastfeeding or traveling with children, please let us know in advance so we can make your time at the conference more comfortable.  We will have a quiet nursing room for breastfeeding and pumping and we can help find childcare close to the conference location.