Simulators Used to Train for Wildland Fires

The Nebraska Forest Service has a new interactive tool that should help improve efforts to fight future wildfires. For just about a month, the agency has been using new computer simulation tables that show how a wildfire in a given area is projected to behave, and how different firefighting techniques can impact a blaze in progress.

A topography map is projected onto a sand table that can be sculpted to mimic the terrain; add a simulated fire and the computer takes over.

Prevent Wildfires with Smokey Bear

Today's fire seasons are on average 78 days longer than in the 1970s and are projected to grow hotter, more unpredictable, and more expensive in the coming years. In 2015, the United States experienced 68,151 wildfires and more than 10 million acres burned. While sometimes caused by lightning and other causes, nearly nine out of 10 wildfires are human-caused.

Wildfire refers to any unwanted, unplanned, damaging fire and is one of the most powerful natural forces known to people. Here are some tips and resources that you can use to help prevent wildfires in your state:

FY 2017 Appropriations: NASF Delivers Coalition Letters

The National Association of State Foresters provided coalition letters in support of fiscal year 2017 appropriations levels for priority USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry (S&PF) programs. 

State and private forests make up more than two thirds of our nation’s forests and provide a host of public benefits including jobs, clean air and water, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and forest products.

Read NASF's FY 2017 Appropriations Recommendation Letters:

Hawaii Burns Through Wildfire Budget

Due to a deepening drought and being hit by a couple of major out-of-season brush fires, Hawaii burned through its budget for fighting wildland fires in February, four months before the end of the fiscal year.

Now, unless funds appear from other sources, the state agency responsible for fire suppression across more than 1.6 million acres might have to raid other forestry and wildlife programs if there's a need to respond to additional fires in Hawaii's wilderness, officials said.

Meet Colorado's 2016 Wildfire Mitigation Award Winners

The National Wildfire Mitigation Awards proigram is supported NASF, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the USDA Forest Service and the National Fire Protection Association.

Southwest Coloradoans accounted for three out of 12 awards handed out nationally for fire mitigation worked performed in communities. Three Colorado winners were Peggy Beach of Pagosa Springs, Les Cole or La Plata County and Phillip Walters of Montezuma County, Colorado. Their awards were presented at the monthly FireWise meeting in Durango, Colorado.