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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November 2016

A Note from the NE RSC Coordinator 
Please give a warm welcome to new NE RSC Chair Dave Celino. Dave, who serves as the Chief Fire Warden (State Forest Fire Supervisor) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, assumed his duties on November 10 from Brad Simpkins, who will continue as a member of the NE RSC representing the NE State Foresters. Our sincerest thanks go to Brad for leading the Cohesive Strategy effort in the Northeast until now.

I also wish to acknowledge and thank Maureen Brooks, Natural Resource Specialist with the Northeastern Area, for agreeing to serve as our Vice-Chair. Maureen has dedicated, and continues to dedicate, a great deal of time and effort in supporting and advancing the Cohesive Strategy in the Northeast.

And thanks to all NE RSC members and stakeholders for your participation and support as we continue to focus on implementing the goals of the Cohesive Strategy both together and within our own organizations. I look forward to working with Dave, Maureen, and all of you as we continue to work on our national and regional Cohesive Strategy priorities.


National Fire Academy Application Period Open: Wildland-Urban Interface and Wildland Fire Courses
U.S. Fire Administration Working for a fire-safe America logo.

The U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Academy (NFA) offers a variety of courses that focus on wildland-urban interface (WUI) issues and wildland firefighting. On-campus students can receive specialized training courses and advanced management programs of national impact offered in a classroom setting at our Emmitsburg, MD, campus. Courses can be offered in an off-campus classroom setting, providing the same courses taught in Emmitsburg but delivered in your State to provide you with the opportunity to attend NFA training closer to home. Through NFA Online, you can receive career-enhancing, self-paced training at home.

Bemidji Selected for National Program to Help Reduce Wildfire Risks, Costs

October 15, 2016

BEMIDJI ---  The city of Bemidji (Minnesota) has been named one of five new communities nationwide to receive technical assistance through a national program aimed at reducing wildfire risk and costs.

The Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire [CPAW] program offers support at the local level, the Bemidji Fire Department said in a release. Bemidji will collaborate with a team of consultants, including land use planners, foresters, and risk mapping experts, to develop wildfire planning and regulatory strategies.

The fire department will work with the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to reduce the risk and impact of wildfires.

CPAW is a partnership between the Wildfire Planning International and Headwaters Economics organizations.
"We believe the Bemidji is in an excellent position to benefit from CPAW due to the community's wildfire risk, future development pressures, anticipated planning updates, and strong leadership support for this opportunity," said Molly Mowery, president of Wildfire Planning International, in the release. "Too often communities have an interest in reducing wildfire risk through land use planning mechanisms but may lack the capacity or expertise. CPAW provides the assistance to work toward that outcome."

The CPAW program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Forest Service and private foundations. More information is available at

Growing Your Local FAC Workforce: New Resource
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network logo.

October 27, 2016

Cover of a pub titled Local Capacity for Integrated Forest and Wildfire Management. Fire adapted communities are built on the concept that everyone in a community ---   from landowners to residents to government agencies to businesses ---   has a role to play in living more safely with wildfire. While homeowners and residents are expected to maintain defensible space around their homes, government agencies are generally responsible for leading community wildfire protection planning efforts. But who does the grueling and dirty work of implementing fuels reduction projects across public and private landscapes? Who assists landowners with projects requiring heavy labor or special equipment? Who runs the saws to maintain fuel breaks along strategic roads and ridgelines, working through the bitter winter, burning those countless piles? Who implements prescribed burns to reduce surface fuels, protect communities, and restore landscapes? The answer to this question, as is with many questions, is: "It depends." Regardless of who does the work, a few things are certain: This is hard work. It's honorable work. Lastly, it's work that is often underappreciated and misunderstood. Read this entire post about growing your local FAC workforce .

When Spark Meets Sprawl: Building in Wildlands Increases Fire Risk
October 8, 2016

Fire is as common to Western States as the drought-dried shrubs that feed the flames. This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Oakland Hills Firestorm in the San Francisco Bay Area that destroyed about 3,000 homes and killed 25 people. At an estimated $1.5 billion in
losses ---     $2.7 billion in today's dollars ---      it remains the country's most costly wildfire to date.

Wildfires, long considered a problem exclusive to the West, now threaten many other parts of the country as extreme weather becomes more commonplace and more people live in areas at risk for wildfire.
Graphic of wildland-urban interface zones in the United States. Thirty-two percent of Americans live in the wildland-urban interface.

Herd of Bison Now Roam the Prairie of Northwest Indiana

October 18, 2016

A bison stands in a field behind a wire fence.
Submitted photo NEW INHABITANTS: Bison now roam the prairie at Kankakee Sands in Newton County.

Newton County in northwestern Indiana has seen a lot in its day, and its history just got richer this past weekend --- roughly 25,000 pounds richer.

On Saturday, The Nature Conservancy introduced a herd of 23 bison to its Kankakee Sands prairie restoration project.

The Nature Conservancy has an extensive bison conservation program, with herds now found on 13 preserves throughout the country. Kankakee Sands is the easternmost conservancy preserve where the animals roam.

2017 National Smokey Bear Award Nominations Open
Illustration showing the head of Smokey Bear surrounded by wildlife such as a bird, squirrel, and a fawn.
In the world of wildfire prevention, there is no greater honor than to receive a Smokey Bear award, especially the national Gold Smokey award. These special awards are reserved for people or organizations that provide sustained, outstanding service, with significant program impact, in the wildfire prevention arena. Honorees demonstrate innovation, creativity, commitment, and passion for wildfire prevention.

Nominations are due by close of business on Monday, December 12, 2016. Visit the Smokey Bear Award Web site for details.

Greater New Haven Residents Stay in Top Shape to Help Fight Wildfires Here and Out West
A man wearing a hardhat and backpack stands on a beach.
West Haven resident Christopher Kostopoulos, a CT DEEP Wildland Firefighter, talks about his experience fighting wildfires in Idaho and Wyoming, Thursday, September 22, 2016, at Dawson Beach in West Haven. (Catherine Avalone/New Haven Register) 

  Anna Bisaro, New Haven Register

October 9, 2016

WEST HAVEN ---       One of the most harrowing experiences Christopher Kostopoulos has had while fighting a wildfire was along a steep ridge in Montana.

It had taken two hours of hiking to get to where the fire was, and as the crew descended the hill to chop down trees in a line and dig trenches to keep the blaze from spreading, a plane flew overhead dropping fire retardant on the flames.

"Now not only are you slipping (from the fire retardant) and trying to cut, but the fire is closing in on you," Kostopoulos said. "And our escape route is up the hill."

Kostopoulos, 41, of West Haven, has been a certified wildfire firefighter for five years, both here in Connecticut and heading out west to assist in wildfires in five separate deployments.

It's a job, he said, that requires you to "be a little nuts."


Conferences, Meetings, and Training Opportunities

An Instructional, Practical and Pragmatic Approach to Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation
December 6-8, 2016
Mystic, CT
Contact your state or provincial forest fire prevention specialist in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic

RX-410 Smoke Management Techniques
February 13-16, 2017
Superior National Forest Supervisor's Office
Duluth, MN
Nominations Due: December 9, 2016


Conferences and Meetings


Fire in Minnesota's Forests
December 1, 2016
Timberlake Lodge
Grand Rapids, MN
December 7-9, 2016
Manhattan, KS

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

March 7-8, 2017
Nashville, IN

Beyond Hazard Fuels: Managing Fire for Social, Economic, and Ecological Benefits
Held concurrently with the 1st Applied Fire Science Workshop
November 28 - December 2, 2016
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Tucson, AZ
Now Accepting Submissions for Special Sessions, Workshops and Trainings
and Attached Meetings .
Call for oral and poster presentation abstract submissions opened April 1. Registration now open.

Private Landscapes, Public Responsibilities
February 5-8, 2017
Lincoln, NE
All Hands, All Lands: Implementation Rooted in Science
April 25-27, 2017 [in planning]
Reno, NV
June 4-7, 2017
Boston, MA

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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