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.

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

New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands

172 Pembroke Road

PO Box 1856

Concord, NH 03302-1856


Maureen Brooks

Communications Working Group Lead

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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October 2016

Learning to Burn: 25 Years Managing the Albany Pine Bush 
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network logo.
Neil Gifford
September 15, 2016
Fire burns up a wooded hillside.
Neil Gifford is the conservation director for the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission in Albany, NY. A volunteer and seasonal Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission employee in 1994 and 1995, he's been a full-time Commission employee since 1997. As conservation director he provides supervision and oversight for all aspects of biological research and management in the preserve.

Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) Net: My guess is that few people think about New York as having a wildfire problem. Can you describe the fuels and the values at risk in the area where you work, in the capitol city of Albany?

Neil: The Preserve supports inland pitch pine scrub-oak barrens, best characterized as a shrub savannah habitat. The combination of pitch pine, scrub oak, heath shrubs and prairie grass make this one of the most volatile fuel types in the northeast and capable of producing rapid rates of fire spread and 100-foot flame lengths in the dormant-season. The ecosystem is fire-dependent and historically produced wildfires annually. The Preserve's 3,200 protected acres are a patchwork of open space that crosses three municipalities and is adjacent to major interstate highways (I-90, I-87, I-890), and billions of dollars worth of residential and commercial real estate, including one of the nation's largest shopping malls, several high-rise nursing homes and a major university.

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"Living with Wildfire" Art Exhibition in Ely
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network logo.

September 13, 2016

A lake is surrounded by forests.
(Photo courtesy of the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network)

The Living with Wildfire exhibition closed on August 31. The first question everyone asks is how did it go? Everyone has a different idea on what makes an event successful. The grant ( Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust Fund) final reporting papers ask: Did the project meet your goals? And thankfully we can answer "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
The exhibition was a different kind of "voice" in raising public awareness regarding wildfire and the impact it has on the Ely community and the surrounding townships. Artists reflected on their personal experiences and feelings about wildfire. They expressed in their own words and mediums so many of the wildfire resiliency messages we are trying to promote: Messages of the importance of both personal and community preparedness. The positive aspects of wildfire, including how it promotes new growth. Remembering and honoring our firefighters and others working to help our communities before, during and after a wildfire. Recognizing and acknowledging that we live in a wildfire-prone area. Expressing the profound effect wildfire can have on each of us.

Read the full "Living with Wildfire" art exhibition article.
Wildfire Risk Still High as Dry Conditions Persist on Cape and Islands
Kathryn Eident
September 26, 2016

A fire watch tower.
Watch-standers spend eight-hour shifts in fire towers like this one off Route 6 in West Barnstable on the lookout for wildfires. (Photo: Kathryn Eident)
Despite last week's rain, the region ---   and the state ---   is still in a drought. The dry conditions have local fire officials on heightened alert for the risk of wildfire. As WCAI's Kathryn Eident reports, officials are staffing fire towers and taking other steps to help prevent dangerous brush fires.

The fire tower on the edge of Route 6 rises well above the tree line, offering a sweeping view of Cape Cod Bay on one side, and the hills of Martha's Vineyard on the other. In between, it's a sea of green. State Fire Warden Josh Nigro covers the Cape and Islands. He says the green tree canopy is a little misleading ---   the ground below no longer has any moisture. Any fire that starts in those woods could burn hot and fast.

"The risks of wildfire is still very high," Nigro said. "If I look at the KBDI, which is how we measure drought, we're still in the 600s, which means the fire can burn down six or seven inches."

Read the full Cape Cod and Islands wildfire risk article.

Westover Air Reserve Base uses Controlled Burn to Lessen Wildfire Risk

September 21, 2016

Sometimes it takes fire to fight fire. That's the theory behind the controlled burns, or "prescribed fires," happening at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee.

Huge plumes of smoke poured into the sky as U.S. Forest Service wildland firefighters and Westover's fire department lit fires along the perimeter of the airfield, scorching what should be up to 300 acres.

Prescribed fire is a recognized natural resources management tool used to maintain healthy grasslands, reduce grassy fuels to help prevent wildfires, and remove broadleaf weeds and other invasive vegetation.
A man uses a drip torch to start a prescribed fire in an open field.
9/21/2016 (Chicopee) U.S. Forest Service wildland firefighters and Westover Air Reserve Base Fire Department personnel set fires and burned up to 300 acres of grassland bordering runways to lessen the chance of wildfires. (Don Treeger/The Republican)

According to Jack Moriarty, Westover's chief of environmental engineering, controlled burns "remove the fuel load, make it easier to maintain a grass height standard of 7 to 14 inches and discourage some of the bigger flocking birds like gulls and geese that we are concerned about for BASH (bird animal strike hazard)."

View this article's accompanying videos.
Now Accepting Nominations for the 2017 Wildfire Mitigation Awards
Wildfire Mitigation Award logo.
Monday, September 19, 2016 

Application deadline is October 30, 2016

The Wildfire Mitigation Awards Committee is pleased to begin accepting nominations for the 2017 Wildfire Mitigation Awards.

Established in 2014, in response to an overwhelming number of great wildfire mitigation program efforts across the nation, the Wildfire Mitigation Awards are the highest national honor one can receive for outstanding work and significant program impact in wildfire preparedness and mitigation.

The Wildfire Mitigation Awards are jointly sponsored by The National Association of State Foresters (NASF), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the USDA Forest Service. 

These awards are designed to recognize effective community fire adaptation efforts such as creation of local mitigation coalitions, community wildfire protection plans, community-wide assessments with the FAC-Sat tool, defensible space, home hardening, hazardous fuels treatments, fire department engagement in wildfire risk reduction, and use of codes and ordinances by individuals and organizations. By honoring their achievements, the award sponsors seek to increase public recognition and awareness of the value of wildfire mitigation efforts.

Have questions? Please contact  Meghan Rhodes at 

Wind Wood Utilization ---    An Online Resource for Community Risk Reduction
Wind Wood Utilization logo.
Wind Wood Utilization is the hub for information specifically related to the preparation for, response to, and recovery from major wind events and the utilization of downed and damaged timber and woody debris that can be generated.

Upcoming Webinar: Good Fences, Good Neighbors? Coordination across Property Boundaries among Private Landowners
Logo Lake States Fire Science Consortium
Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 2 PM Eastern / 1 PM Central
Assistant Professor
School of Natural Resources and Environment - University of Michigan

Coordinating land management across property boundaries is important in mixed-ownership forest landscapes because many forest health problems such as wildfire and invasive plants occur on scales larger than individual parcels. Despite the ecological importance of coordinated management, it is rare among private landowners. One possible explanation is that the social risks associated with coordinated management outweigh the benefits given current policies and institutions. We used a qualitative case study approach to investigate coordinated management among private landowners in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and Great Lakes regions. We characterize the social arrangements through which private forest owners pool resources and jointly plan and implement management actions, and we identify factors that contribute to the emergence and success of cooperation by private forest owners. Our findings contribute to theories of cooperation and shed light on the social conditions needed to foster cooperation by private forest owners.

Connect to the Good Fences, Good Neighbors? Webinar.

NAFSE Webinar Announcement: Effectiveness of Wildfire Mitigation in the WUI
North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange logo.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 from 12 PM to 1 PM Eastern
Presented by Dr. Zander Evans

What is a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and how can it help your community? How might the design of a CWPP change from one region to another? Establishing a CWPP can lead to an engaged community and drive real wildfire mitigation in the wildland-urban interface. Join us as Dr. Zander Evans outlines the key elements of successful CWPPs, with North Atlantic examples from New Jersey and Cape Cod.

Register for this Webinar here!

Conferences, Meetings, and Training Opportunities

October 20-30, 2016
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Upton, NY
Registrations due by September 26, 2016.
Register online

This Webinar is presented by Justice Jones (Austin, TX, Fire Department) and Mike Wharton (Athens-Clarke County). Registration is required.
November 10, 2016
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM Eastern
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
Conferences and Meetings


November 2-6, 2016
Madison, WI

2nd International Smoke Symposium
November 14-17, 2016
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 .
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