Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy
Northeast Region
A firefighter from Plymouth, MA, uses a drip torch to ignite grasses in a prescribed fire.
A firefighter from Plymouth, MA, uses a drip torch to ignite grasses in a prescribed fire.

Resilient Landscapes - Fire-Adapted Communities - Safe and Effective Wildfire Response  
The Northeast Regional Strategy Committee (NE RSC) provides executive leadership, coordination, and guidance to carry out the Northeast Regional Action Plan while providing a forum for members to guide strategic direction for fire and land management activities. The NE RSC continues to collaboratively recognize, support, and help with National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy goals and implementation efforts.

Brad Simpkins, New Hampshire State Forester
In This Issue
Northeast Region Cohesive Strategy Key Contacts


Chief Fire Warden

Mass. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation


Maureen Brooks


U.S. Forest Service Northeastern Area S&PF


Larry Mastic

Coordinator, Northeast Region

Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy

Important Links

Forest Fire Compacts

Quick Links

Science and Joint Fire Science Consortiums & Exchanges

Social Media
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January 2017

Devastating Wildfires in Eastern Forests Likely to be Repeated, Expert Warns  

December 12, 2016

A wildfire burns in woods at night.
Eastern forests, after many decades of fire suppression, when faced with prolonged drought, are more vulnerable to hotter-burning, terribly destructive wildfires, according to a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. 
(Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service)

The intense wildfires that swept through the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee late last month were a tragic melding of the past and the future, according to a researcher in Penn State's  College of Agricultural Sciences.

And the fast-moving, wind-whipped blazes that burned more than 150,000 acres, killed 14 people and damaged 2,400 structures in Gatlinburg and Sevier County may be a portent of things to come, he warned.

"Many people have been lulled into believing that it is just the West that is prone to devastating wildfires, but that's not true," said  Marc Abrams, professor of forest ecology and physiology, who for three decades has studied the historic role of fire in Eastern forests.

"Fire has played an important role historically in the forest ecosystem in the eastern United States, but the balance created by frequent ---   but not catastrophic ---   forest fires was upset by the Smokey Bear fire suppression regimen beginning in the late 1940s. Now, Eastern forests, when faced with prolonged drought, are more vulnerable to hotter-burning, terribly destructive wildfires."

Cohesive Strategy Crosswalk and Strategic Alignment Report Released
Ed. Note: It is our hope that this report not only summarizes the many bodies of Cohesive Strategy work over the previous 7 years, but will serve to inform incoming Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC) members of the history, progress, and direction of Cohesive Strategy development and implementation. Through this report, we also sought to identify additional opportunities for WFLC action and support of Cohesive Strategy initiatives going into the future. Our intention is not to "mandate" implementation of all actions listed, but rather to provide a suite of possible actions for their consideration, discussion, and prioritization as WFLC members and their agencies/organizations plan their course going forward. This report and companion appendices document can also be beneficial by providing this synopsized background information to new Cohesive Strategy partners and staff with Cohesive Strategy implementation responsibilities.

View the report and appendices.
Collaborative Prescribed Fire Workshop Held in Maryland 
Gerald Vickers, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

A prescribed fire burns up a slope on a farm in Maryland.
Photo: Gerald Vickers, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Service, Maryland Wildlife Service, and the Washington College Center for Environment & Society sponsored a prescribed burn workshop December 5--- 6, 2016. The 2-day workshop was held at Washington College in Queen Anne's County, Maryland, in conjunction with Chino Farms, a private landowner who maintains wildlife habitat using fire as a management tool.

Chris Robertson, Regional Fire Manager for Maryland DNR, and Dan Small from Washington College coordinated the event. Technical expertise and materials were also provided by Steve Hubner, Forester, and Gerald Vickers, Regional Fire Management Specialist, Northeast U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Fire Management.

Veterans Work on Wildfire Mitigation: Thinning Stands, Burning Acres... 
Changing Lives
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network logo.
Lieutenant Tim Weaver, Rapid City Fire Department

December 15, 2016

Let's face it, when it comes to fire resilience in your community, fresh and innovative methods can be hard to come by. At  Rapid City Fire Department, we have taken a unique approach to lessening the ever present danger that extreme wildfire behavior poses to our community. As outlined in a  previous FAC Net blog post, we get the honor of working with military veterans (primarily from recent campaigns) to do fire mitigation work in our community.  
These veterans, in turn, receive a good paying wage while they are pursuing the education or training of their choice. The goal of the program is multifaceted, in that beyond wildfire mitigation, we aim to help these veterans transition between serving our country and participating in civilian life.

Numerically, the program is a huge success. We have treated 917 acres, protected 296 structures and received the 2015  Inaugural Wildfire Mitigation Innovation award, a program jointly sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters, International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Fire Protection Association and USDA Forest Service. However, many of the less measurable components ---   the relationships and opportunities ---   are the most remarkable and important components of its success. Among the benefactors is the Rapid City community, receiving both mitigation services and exposure to inspirational, perspective-shifting individuals.

Watching the World Burn
Addressing the Problem of Arson and Wildland/Urban Interface Fires

Lucian Deaton, NFPA Wildfire Division Project Manager

November 1, 2016

The chase was on to catch an arsonist in the act. Using a planted GPS device, police tracked a suspect's vehicle as it travelled along a country road in Lake County, California, on the afternoon of August 13. They watched as the vehicle briefly slowed to 11 mph, then sped off. Minutes later, what became known as the Clayton Fire ignited in the vicinity of the slowdown. Three miles north, the car stopped for two minutes at a vista that provided a perfect view of the growing blaze.

When it was finally controlled 13 days later, the Clayton Fire had consumed nearly 4,000 acres and destroyed over 300 structures. Police believe it started when the accused, a man named Damin Pashilk, slowed down to toss a lit match or burning piece of paper out the vehicle window into the dry grass. He was arrested soon after and in September pleaded not guilty to 17 felony counts of arson. In court, police revealed they had been tracking Pashilk for more than a year and suspected him of setting a dozen other fires in the area dating back to the summer of 2015.

In reading all of this, I was struck by what would motivate someone to set a fire, and what, if anything, can be done to prevent it. Arson, often thought of as an urban issue, is also prevalent in wildland/urban interface and can be much more destructive.

Conferences, Meetings, and Training Opportunities

RX-410 Smoke Management Techniques
February 13-16, 2017
Superior National Forest Supervisor's Office
Duluth, MN

Conferences and Meetings


January 31, 2017
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Stevens Point, WI
Fort Custer National Training Center
Augusta, MI

March 7-8, 2017
Nashville, IN


Private Landscapes, Public Responsibilities
February 5-8, 2017
Lincoln, NE

Preconference March 18-21, 2017
Conference March 21-23, 2017
Peppermill Resort
Reno, NV
All Hands, All Lands: Implementation Rooted in Science
April 25-27, 2017
Reno, NV
June 4-7, 2017
Boston, MA

Save the Date!
Northeast Forest Fire Supervisors Annual Meeting
June 19-23, 2017
Hanover, MD

FireVision 20/20: A 20-Year Reflection and Look into the Future
7th International Fire Ecology & Management Congress

Held concurrently with the 2nd Applied Fire Science Workshop
Hosted by the Association for Fire Ecology in cooperation with the Southern Fire Exchange
November 28 - December 2, 2017
Orlando, FL

The Northeast Regional Strategy Committee (NE RSC) delivers articles and stories each month that demonstrate the collaborative efforts of agencies, organizations and communities supporting and promoting the three goals of the Cohesive Strategy: Restoring Resilient Landscapes, Creating Fire Adapted Communities and Responding to Wildfire. 


This news update is our primary communication tool with our partners and the public. Looking for more Northeast Region Cohesive Strategy information or past published news update issues? Visit this Web site.


Does your agency, organization, or community have a project or event you'd like to see featured in the NE RSC News Update? 


Tell us about it! Just contact  Larry Mastic .
Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry | 603-868-7685 | |
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