Marc Castellnou from the Catalan Fire Service in the Catalonia region of northeastern Spain received the 2015 IAWF Wildland Fire Safety Award at the luncheon held during the 13th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit and 4th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference in Boise, Idaho, April 20-25, 2015.
Castellnou began his career in the wildland fire service over 25 years ago. His passion for wildland fire safety encompasses not only wildfire but the use of prescribed fire for increasing firefighter safety. Castellnou has a strong interest and background in wildland fire safety and fire behavior as a practicing fire behavior analyst. He is only the second person from outside of North America and the first from Europe to receive the award.
Some of Castellnou’s achievements include:
- Experiences and influence that extends well beyond the borders of Spain to Germany, United Kingdom, France, Greece, Scotland, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Holland and the USA.
- Promotion of the use of the Campbell Prediction System and LACES wildland fire safety system widely in Europe.
- Founder and Chairman of the Pau Costa Foundation (http://www.paucostafoundation.org/ing/). The foundation is devoted to research in the field of forest fire ecology, the creation of knowledge, tools and techniques for the management of forest fires, and the dissemination of this knowledge to the technical world through training and other means.
The International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF) inaugurated the IAWF Wildland Fire Safety Award at the Association’s first Wildland Fire Safety Summit held in 1997 in Rossland, British Columbia, Canada. The award has been bestowed on ten other individuals since that time.
The IAWF Wildland Fire Safety Award is presented to a deserving individual within the international wildland fire community who has made a significant contribution to wildland firefighter safety, either directly on the fireline; or indirectly through management, cultural changes, or through wildland fire research. Their contribution is frequently beyond their normal everyday job expectations — sometimes at the potential risk to their own career, and their example can encourage others to act in a similar manner.
Selection of the recipient is based on nominations reviewed by a committee comprised of previous award recipients and typically but not always a member of the IAWF Board of Directors. A number of individuals were again nominated this year for the IAWF Wildland Fire Safety Award. The final selection is always difficult as all the nominees are well deserving of the award.
— Marty Alexander, 2015 IAWF Wildland Fire Safety Award Committee Chair.