State Foresters Host Congressional Briefings about Forest Action Plans

Members of the National Association of State Foresters’ executive committee held Congressional briefings on May 4 to introduce decision makers to state Forest Action Plans and convey the importance of consulting these important documents when making forest management decisions. In attendance were key staff members from the House and Senate Agriculture Committees and member offices, USDA Forest Service staff, and regional state forestry association staff.

Arson Awareness Week Kicks Off Sunday

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) announced the 2016 theme for Arson Awareness Week: Prevent Wildfire Arson—Spread the Facts Not the Fire. 

USFA and its partners will use the week of May 1 – 7 to focus attention on wildfire arson, particularly in the wildland-urban interface.

USFA is partnering this year with several groups including NASF, the USDA Forest Service (USFS), National Wildfire Coordination Group, National Fire Protection Association and several more leaders in the fire community.

Forecasting Human-Ignited WIldfires

Fires set by people are a real problem for wildland fire managers on all types of land ownerships, including tribal lands. Because they usually occur closer to valued property and resources, human-set fires also tend to be more damaging than fires ignited naturally. Human-ignited wildfires fall into two categories – incendiary, or intentionally set fires, and those started accidentally.


Four Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC) wildland firefighters and three dozers were sent to Oklahoma to assist crews with wildfire suppression at the 350 Complex Incident near Woodward last week. The wildfire has burned over 57,000 acres, and is 90% contained, according to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. Crews from Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, Georgia, Texas and Tennessee are also assisting.

Texas A&M Forest Service employee honored nationally for fire prevention

Texas A&M Forest Service Firewise Coordinator Nick Harrison received the 2015 USDA Forest Service Robert E. Browning Jr. Award for his efforts in wildfire prevention.

The award is in memory of Browning, a southern wildland firefighter who gave his life battling the South Canyon Fire in Colorado in 1994. The award goes to those who have gone beyond the call of duty in the 13-state Southern Region that spans from Virginia to Texas.

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: