Partnership announces 2018 Wildfire Mitigation Awardees

Individuals, organizations honored for exemplary commitment to community wildland fire protection.

WASHINGTON—The Wildfire Mitigation Awards committee has announced the 2018 Wildfire Mitigation Award winners. Established in 2014, the awards are the highest commendation for innovation and leadership displayed by individuals and organizations committed to wildfire mitigation.

The Wildfire Mitigation Awards are 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 (USFS).

Recognizing the comprehensive challenge posed by wildfires, these awards applaud the outstanding dedication to wildfire mitigation across a broad spectrum of activities and among a variety of individuals and organizations. By honoring their achievements, the award sponsors seek to increase public recognition and awareness of the value of wildfire mitigation efforts.

The winners of the 2018 national Wildfire Mitigation Awards are:

  • Abby Watkins (Newaygo County Emergency Services, MI) (White Cloud, Michigan)
  • Blue Mountain Forest Stewardship Initiative (BMFSI) (Golden, Colorado)
  • Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (Durango, Colorado)
  • Grizzly Flats Fire Safe Council (Grizzly Flats, California)
  • Jeff Dunning (Allstate Insurance, CA) (Grass Valley, California)
  • Jesse Cox (Trinity County Fire Safe Council, CA) (Weaverville, California)
  • Pat McKelvey (Tri-County Firesafe Working Group, MT) (Helena, Montana)
  • Project Wildfire (Deschutes County, OR) (Bend, Oregon)
  • Rincon Fire Department (Valley Center, California)

“The 2018 Wildfire Mitigation awardees are valued partners of the nation’s state foresters and the agencies they lead, serving as key members in the nationwide effort to ensure safer and more rapid response to wildfire year-round,” said George Geissler, Oklahoma State Forester and the president of the National Association of State Foresters. “I commend the awardees for their wildfire preparedness efforts which contribute to saving lives, protecting thousands of homes, and strengthening our communities.”

“Wildland fire is as destructive and costly than ever before,” said Chief Thomas Jenkins, IAFC President and Chairman of the Board. “That’s why on behalf of the IAFC I’m especially proud to congratulate this year’s National Wildfire Mitigation Award winners for their outstanding leadership and contributions to wildland fire risk reduction in their communities.”

“The National Fire Protection Association is honored to be a part of recognizing the outstanding wildfire risk reduction projects being implemented throughout the nation,” said Cathy Prudhomme, manager of NFPA’s Firewise USA™ program. “The awards are an important way to honor the recipients’ achievements and to encourage them to continue their efforts.”

“These awards are a small recognition of the very important work people are doing to help communities prepare for wildfire,” said Pam Leschak, National WUI Program Manager for the USDA Forest Service. “Their work helps residents, communities and firefighters live more safely with wildfire.”

Awards will be presented at the IAFC Wildland-Urban Interface Conference (WUI) in Reno, Nevada on February 28, 2018. For more information, visit:

Media Contact: Whitney Forman-Cook at or 202-624-5417


About the National Association of State Foresters
The National Association of State Foresters represents State and Territorial Forester interests by influencing forest policy and leading efforts to optimize social, economic, and environmental benefits of trees and forests. Learn more at

About the International Association of Fire Chiefs 
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world’s leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous response, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more at

About the National Fire Protection Association
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at

About the United States Forest Service
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. The agency also has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 900 million forested acres within the U.S., of which over 130 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

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