A burnt forest

2021 WMA Awardees speak on their crucial work to mitigate wildfire damage

This February, the Wildfire Mitigation Awards (WMAs) selection committee chose three individuals to receive recognition for their sustained dedication to wildfire mitigation and preparedness initiatives. The 2021 WMA winners are leaders who have shown how innovation and collaboration can secure lasting results for communities of all sizes and demographics.

Two of this year’s winners, Courtney Haynes and Jessica Kirby, were featured on the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ (IAFC) podcast discussing the challenges of mitigation work in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). Both Courtney and Jessica received their awards for WUI efforts, though Courtney works mostly with private landowners in Colorado and Jessica worked (in a past role with Utah’s Snyderville Basin Recreation District) on public lands.

In her interview, Jessica spoke about how important it is to change the “it won’t happen to me” attitude in WUI communities and how her personal experiences with wildfire have affected her work. Courtney described in hers how the West Region Wildfire Council’s programs directly engage private landowners during dangerous wildfire seasons. Both women also discussed how winning a Wildfire Mitigation Award has helped motivate their organizations and communities to share their lessons learned with other at-risk locales. Click here to listen to their episode on IAFC’s podcast.

Do you know a someone worthy of a Wildfire Mitigation Award? Nominate them for a 2022 WMA here.

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