Partnership announces 2020 Wildfire Mitigation Awardees

Individuals and organizations honored for exemplary commitment to community wildfire risk reduction.

WASHINGTON—The Wildfire Mitigation Awards committee has named the three recipients of this year’s Wildfire Mitigation Awards. These individuals and organizations have earned the highest commendation for innovation and leadership in wildfire mitigation for their outstanding dedication to solving many of the most complex challenges posed by wildfire.

Established in 2014 and co-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), these awards help to demonstrate the tremendous societal value wildfire mitigation efforts provide.

The winners of the 2020 Wildfire Mitigation Awards are:

  • Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church Emergency Preparedness Group Volunteers (Monument, Colorado)
  • Montecito Fire Department (Santa Barbara, California)
  • Ernie Lory (Placerville, California)

“State forestry agencies know firsthand it’s always wildfire season somewhere in the United States. The 2020 Wildfire Mitigation Awardees know this too,” said Greg Josten, NASF president and South Dakota state forester. “In their own ways, this year’s winners have ensured the safety of thousands through their wildfire mitigation efforts. We congratulate them for receiving this honor and thank them for their dedication to this critically important work.”

“Wildland fire remains a serious threat to our environment, property and lives all across North America,” said Fire Chief Gary Ludwig, IAFC president and chairman of the board. “I’m 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 Wildfire Mitigation Awards is an important way to recognize contributions to wildfire safety,” said Michele Steinberg, director of NFPA’s Wildfire Division. “The National Fire Protection Association congratulates this year’s recipients on their accomplishments and outstanding efforts to reduce fire risk in their communities.”

“These awards are meant to recognize the often overlooked hard and persistent pre-fire work with communities that saves lives and property,” said Pam Leschak, USFS national program manager for Wildland Urban Interface and Fire Adapted Communities. “Mitigation specialists are truly the unsung heroes of the fire management world and these awards are a national token of appreciation for their efforts.”

The 2020 Wildfire Mitigation Awards will be presented at the Wildland-Urban Interface Conference in Reno, Nevada, on Wednesday, March 25. For more information, visit www.stateforesters.org/mitigation.

Media Contact: Whitney Forman-Cook at  wforman-cook@stateforesters.org or 202-624-5417

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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  www.stateforesters.org.

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  www.iafc.org.

About the National Fire Protection Association
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global self-funded 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  www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at  www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

About the United States Forest Service
The mission of the USDA Forest Service 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.