CWU News

Wildfire and Society Conference Held November 3 at CWU

More than $100,000,000 have been spent to fight wildfires in Washington State alone. More than a million acres have been burned, hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and, tragically, human lives have been lost.

The Cascadia Hazards Institute of Central Washington University will host a vital conference addressing the devastating nature of wildfire in our region. Wildfire & Society will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on November 3 at the Wellington Event Center at Barto Hall. The event is free and open to the public; a complimentary luncheon will be served.

The conference features presentations and panel discussions with national and international experts in wildfire prevention, suppression, and risk management. They will not only examine the science of wildfires, but also the effect of sociological and human land use activities that determine a community’s vulnerability to a catastrophic wildfire event.

The opening keynote speaker is Paul Hessburg, PhD, a US Forest Service research landscape ecologist, who will present “Inland Northwest Forests and Ranges: Landscapes of Fire.” The lunch keynote speaker is Alan Ager, PhD, a research forester at the Missoula Fire Science Laboratory. Ager will present “Conflicts and Opportunities for Managing Wildfire Risk in the Western US.”

After the main conference, Joaquin Ramirez, PhD, wildfire scientist and software architect from the University of Leon in Madrid, Spain, will present and demonstrate Technosylva’s wildland fire behavior analysis and management software from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Ramirez’s technology proposes to forecast fire behavior via software algorithms to develop proactive real-time fire-mapping and response strategies.

Please note that the Event Center has room for only 100 attendees. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact Margaret Reich at 509-963-1489, or e-mail

Parking arrangements can be made in advance at CWU Parking Services,, or call 509-963-2667.

The Cascadia Hazards Institute,, supports interdisciplinary research and education to improve public safety and business resilience in the Pacific Northwest. Cascadia is defined as the combination of historical Oregon County and the Pacific Northwest bioregion (i.e. the watersheds of rivers that flow into the Pacific Ocean through North America's temperate rainforest zone). This region includes modern day Oregon, Idaho, Washington and British Columbia.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Natural Resources