Throughout the country, the National Firewise Communities Program is recognizing outstanding individuals and organizations for their leadership in promoting a cooperative approach to reducing the loss of lives, property, and resources in the wildland/urban interface.
The recipients were awarded at the National Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Program's 2008 Fire Education Conference Backyards and Beyond in Tampa, Florida.
"This year's winners run the gamut," said Chief Will May, chair of the NWCG's Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Working Team. "From state officials to small non-profits, all of our winners possess the passion to help spread the message of the Firewise mission."
Winners were selected based on their impact at the local, state-wide, or regional level.
Regional level winners include:
- InterfaceSouth, US Forest Service, Southern Research Station – Gainesville, Florida
- Kirk Rowdabaugh, Arizona State Forestry Division – Phoenix, Arizona
State level winners include:
- John Edwards and Don Wells, Wildcat Community Inc. – Jasper, Georgia
- Patrick Mahoney, Florida Division of Forestry – Bradenton Florida
- Texas Firewise and Urban Wildland Interface Team, Texas Forest Service – Fredericksburg, Texas
- Colorado Springs Wildland Risk Section, Colorado Springs Fire Department – Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Cook County Firewise Committee – Grand Marais, Minnesota
- Three Rivers RC&D Wildland Fire Education Prevention – Pocatello, Idaho
Local level winners include:
"Leadership Award winners serve as a perfect example of how a little initiative can go a long way," Chief May said. "Firewise exists today with the help of this individual and group collaboration."
In addition to recognizing the winners, the Firewise Leadership Awards program helps program administrators capture success stories and share best practices across the country, among all types of interests--public, private, and tribal. This year, 20 individuals and organizations from across the country were nominated for their outstanding efforts.
Communities and residents interested in learning more about the Firewise Communities program may visit www.firewise.org.