Northeast Region Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy banner with a graphic of the 20 states of the Northeast and Midwest and National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy logo.
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

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September 2017

Firewise in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota  
NFPA and Firewise USA logos.

Faith Berry, Associate Project Manager, NFPA Wildfire Division

September 6, 2017

[Editor's Note: NFPA's Firewise USA™ program will be sharing a series of articles about nationally recognized Firewise participant success stories from the Northeastern United States. Faith Berry recently interviewed residents from Cook County, Minnesota. They wanted to tell their story about how they are actively working toward creating neighborhoods that will be safer from wildfire loss.]

The state of Minnesota, though rich in water, also has risk of loss due to wildfires. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has helped to support the growth of Firewise communities in the state. Their Web site has a photograph of a home that survived the Brainerd Bypass Fire in May 2002 because that homeowner had taken steps shared by the Firewise USA™ program to reduce their risk of loss.

People stand in a road surrounded by woods while a person talks.
Firewise Demonstration Day, Cook County, MN. (Courtesy photo by Todd Armbruster)

I was fortunate to talk with Todd Armbruster, the Cook County Firewise Coordinator for the last 3 years. Todd works closely with Jeff Jackson, the Minnesota DNR Firewise Specialist for northeastern Minnesota. Todd shared a little bit about how well this community of 5,000 works with many other agency partners to reduce their risk of loss due to wildfire in Minnesota's boreal forest ecosystem. They recognize the threat from wildfire, especially after they experienced the loss of over 100 structures during the 2007 Ham Lake Fire that burnt 75,000 acres in their community. They also realize that it takes everyone working together to create safer communities.

Master Woodland Owners Discuss Wildfire Risk in Minnesota  
Teresa Gallagher, District Ranger, Superior National Forest

August 12, 2017

People stand in a clearing surrounded by woods while someone talks.
Minnesota DNR Wildfire Prevention Specialist Jeff Jackson demonstrates Firewise principles to private landowners. (U.S. Forest Service photo)

Fire-prone forests were the focus of a field trip for private landowners during a Master Woodland Owners workshop near Virginia, MN, on August 12. Landowners and resource professionals from agencies that offer assistance programs discussed Firewise principles; identified fuels; and discussed fire behavior and the effects of unwanted wildfire as well as how wildfire affects the risk to firefighters, homeowners, neighbors, property, and adjacent lands.Two participants were from local volunteer fire departments.

Attendees were interested in managing their woodlands for forest health and wildlife habitat, and were there to learn what can be done on their land to reduce fire risk. Woodland owners toured properties adjacent to Superior National Forest land that was to receive fuel reduction treatments and talked about the benefits of removing dead or dying trees and thinning live trees to help reduce fire risk.

The field trip was part of the Master Woodland Owners Program, sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension. This program delivers a comprehensive training curriculum for private woodland owners interested in becoming better stewards of their woods.

Bemidji, Minnesota: A 2017 CPAW Community Wildfire Planning Project
Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire logo. [Editor's Note: The 2017-2018 Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire (CPAW) application process is now open. Applications and program information are available on the CPAW Web site and will be accepted until September 29, 2017, 5 p.m. MT.]

Sign for the Bemidji (Minnesota) fire department. The beautiful and remote Northwoods of Minnesota draw year-round visitors, and the pace of new development in the Greater Bemidji Area is increasing rapidly as a result. Because communities are scattered throughout its forested environment, all development is considered part of the wildland-urban interface (WUI). The local fire personnel respond to hundreds of fires each year, all of which are started by human sources, and many of which threaten homes or other structures. Fires average just five acres and successful suppression response rates have created a sense of security in the Greater Bemidji Area.

But the area has not always been so fortunate. More than a century ago, one of Minnesota's greatest disasters occurred in the north, burning more than 250,000 acres and killing 450 people. While no fire has since been as destructive, the Green Valley Fire in 2013 helped renew awareness of wildfire danger.

Preserving Huffman Prairie Calls for Annual 'Burns'
Dayton Daily News banner.
Jeannie Masters, 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

August 28, 2017

Several firefighters are talking while a prescribed fire burns in the background.
Darryn Warner (far right), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Wildland Fire Program manager, speaks with Joel Kemm and Krysten Dick from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service during a prescribed burn at Huffman Prairie in 2016. (Courtesy photo)

Civil Engineering is preparing for the annual burn season at Huffman Prairie. The main purpose of burning is to protect and maintain the health of native plants and soil.

Darryn Warner, Wildland Fire Program manager, oversees all aspects of the natural resources for the installation from an environmental aspect.

"Tall grass prairies are fire dependent ecosystems that need to be burned in order to thrive," he said.

Michigan DNR Wildfire Fighters Battle Western Blazes
Gaylord Herald Times banner.

August 25, 2017

A firefighting helicopter flies over a burning hillside.
Helicopters fly over a burning hillside in Montana recently as firefighters work to control a grass fire. Two Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildland fire engines staffed by two three-man crews as well as an incident management team are in Montana now helping with fire suppression efforts. (Courtesy photo by Michigan DNR)

MONTANA ---   Surrounded by smoke, constantly watching the wind and trying to tamp down fast-moving flames, Michigan Department of Natural Resources firefighters using two specially equipped fire trucks have been helping battle grass and forest wildfires in Montana since mid-July.

They may do what firefighters call "black lining"  ---   purposely burning a strip of grass to deprive an approaching wildfire of fuel and stop it in its tracks.

Or they may "wet line"
---   dousing combustible materials in the path of a fire to keep a blaze from spreading.

Or they might, during a breather from work, do what any of us would: Whip out cell phones to shoot a quick video as a low-flying tanker plane releases a belly full of water over a hot spot of burning trees, brush or grass.

"Statistically, it's the grasses that are the most dangerous. They move fast and burn quick," said Ben Osterland, who led one of two three-man teams that drove the Michigan fire engines to Montana.

Firefighters Return from Helping Fight Montana Wildfire
Saratogian News banner.

Joseph Phelan

August 9, 2017

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. --  A 20-person firefighting crew featuring Forest Rangers, Department of Environmental Conservation and volunteers arrived at Saratoga Tree Nursery recently after two weeks battling a wildfire in Montana.

The crew, made up of residents from across the state, worked to contain a 13,488-acre wildfire.The wildfire was believed to have been sparked by a lightning strike. Currently the fire is only 15 percent contained and is expected to burn until late September. The New York crew went out West with groups from Ohio, West Virginia and Missouri.

"To be on a western wildfire is a whole other experience. It's a great training," said Steven Jackson. "Montana was beautiful, besides all the fire and how dry it was, it was pretty neat to see a different landscape and habitat."

Compendiums of Landscape Scale Conservation Efforts Now Available
A digital image of three publication covers.

To ensure healthy ecosystems across the urban-to-rural continuum and across ownerships, the U.S. Forest Service works with partners towards shared landscape conservation goals.

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- Three publications on landscape scale conservation efforts are now available online. Federally Led Landscape Scale Conservation Initiatives in the Northeast and Midwest provides an inventory of initiatives led by the U.S. Forest Service and other Federal agencies. Multi-State Priority Areas in the Northeast and Midwest and Multi-State Priority Issues in the Northeast and Midwest each summarize the priorities that State Forestry agencies identified in their  2010 State Forest Action Plans .

Landscape scale conservation occurs when landowners pursue common goals across large blocks of land. The three documents are valuable for updating State Forest Action Plans, for identifying projects to submit for competitive grants and other funding, and to help identify existing partnerships as well as opportunities for cooperation. View the compendiums on the  Landscape Scale Conservation in the Northeast and Midwest page of the Northeastern Area's Web site.

Megan's Corner - September 2017
LANDFIRE logo and the text In the Northeast.

It's September already?! Yes, we have reached the deadline for data submissions and feedback for the Remap! I didn't tell you, but this was a soft deadline, and we still have a bit of time. Please contact me if you have any data leads or feedback. 

I have so much information to share with you, and have decided to do so through the Northeast LANDFIRE Google Forum. I have added several posts there regarding a recent Biophysical Settings workshop, the visit to the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, current status of data submissions, how LiDAR will be used in the Remap, a fuels assessment in Hiawatha National Forest, and how we can work on fuel models. I have decided to use that forum as my main method of sharing information because I'd like to get you information more quickly and in a format that can be updated easily. It can take a long time to dig into complex LANDFIRE questions, and I'd like to keep you up to date as well as update information as it changes. I will continue to update you monthly here, but feel free to subscribe to updates to the Google Forum if you are interested. 

Thank you to all who participated in my last-minute survey before the EROS trip; we got 21 responses! From the survey results, I saw that many of you preferred Webinars for receiving information about LANDFIRE, yet we haven't had anyone sign up for our personalized Webinar series! Use this form if you'd like to see a Webinar on a specific topic, or I will just have to pick some! LANDFIRE is also offering three Webinars this fall. Stay tuned for responses to the survey on the Google Forum.

Northeast LANDFIRE Contact:

Conferences, Meetings, and Training Opportunities


Conferences and Meetings


2017 Crew Boss Academy
October 4-13, 2017
Fort Custer Training Center, MI
Nomination Form Deadline: August 18, 2017

4th Biennial Shortleaf Pine Conference
October 3-5, 2017
Galloway, NJ

Field Trip: The Great Acadia Fire 70 Years Later
Hosted by North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange and the Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact
October 17-18, 2017
Acadia, ME

Oak Symposium: Sustaining Oak Forests in the 21st Century through Science-based Management
October 24-26, 2017
Knoxville, TN

78th Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference
January 28-31, 2018
Milwaukee, WI

Igniting Exchange: Bridging the Gap between Science and Management
January 30 - February 1, 2018
Portland, ME

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

Wildland Urban Interface Conference
February 27 - March 1, 2018
Peppermill Resort
Reno, NV

2nd Annual National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop
"Lessons for the Field"
March 26-29, 2018
Peppermill Resort Spa Casino
Reno, NV

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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