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FIRE MANAGEMENT: Fire Managers from Across Alaska Connect via Video
Alaska Region, February 15, 2011
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By Lisa Sapperstein, Regional Fire Ecologist

The annual Fire Management Officer (FMO) meeting was held in the Regional Office in Anchorage February 8-10, 2011, bringing together Regional Office fire staff; FMOs and managers from refuges based in Fairbanks, Galena, Soldotna, and McGrath; and Chris Wilcox, the National Fire Operations Program Leader from Boise, ID.  Fire managers from the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management-Alaska Fire Service (AFS) also attended portions of the Anchorage gathering. 

This year’s meeting had a new twist: thanks to interagency video-conferencing capabilities supplied partly by the Region 7 Fire Management program, portions of the meeting were broadcast to Fairbanks and Nome.  Chris Wilcox’s presentation on his work as a representative to the Incident Management Organization Succession Planning Team, an interagency planning effort, was attended remotely by AFS and State of Alaska fire staff in Fairbanks. 

The finale of the meeting was a presentation by Dr. Lily Ray, of Kawerak, Inc. in Nome that was broadcast to the Regional Office in Anchorage and to AFS headquarters in Fairbanks.  Dr. Ray discussed her doctorate work on community perceptions and relations regarding fire management decisions in the villages of Huslia and Galena, located in and adjacent to the Koyukuk NWR.  A lively question/answer period followed her talk.  The presentation would not have been possible without the availability of National Park Service equipment and staff assistance in Nome.  The video-conferencing technology allowed 12 people outside of the Anchorage meeting venue to attend Chris’ and Dr. Ray’s talks: 10 from AFS, 1 from the State of Alaska, and 1 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



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