IAWF Board of Directors Updates
IAWF welcomed a new Board Member in January 2015. Professor Naian Liu is a Professor in Fire Safety Engineering at State Key Laboratory of Fire Science (SKLFS), University of Science and Technology of China. He is currently serving on the International FORUM of Fire Research Directors; the International Scale Modeling Committee; and Editorial Board Member of several international journals, including Fire Safety Journal (Associate Editor), Fire Technology, and Fire Science Reviews.
Prof. Liu’s work focuses on fundamental processes of thermal decomposition of wildland fuels as well as extreme wildland fire behaviors such as fire whirl, multiple fires burning, eruptive fires and spot fires. In recent years, Prof. Liu has authored over 100 peer-reviewed research papers. He served as the Executive Organizing Committee Chair and Technical Program Chair of the 9th Asia-Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology (2012), and the Organizing Committee Chair of the Annual Meeting of the International FORUM of Fire Research Directors (2012), the Topic Chair of Forest Fire of the 11th International Symposium for Fire Safety Science (2014), and the Colloquium co-chair of the 35th International Symposium on Combustion (2014). He is also a member of the Combustion Institute and IAFSS.
For more information, visit Prof. Liu’s faculty page at http://en.sklfs.ustc.edu.cn/Faculty/201107/t20110730_116683.html
Also, we would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Gene Rogers whose term has concluded on the Board of Directors. Gene was the conference chair for the 2012 Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference and has also chaired many committees during his time on the board. Thank you for your contributions, Gene, and we wish you the very best in your future endeavors and look forward to your continued support.
IAWF Supports Wildland Fire Funding in the USA
During 2014, the Congress of the United States deliberated over legislation known as the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (S.1875 & H.R. 3992), or WDFA.
The WDFA would provide support for funding the United States Forest Service’s State Fire Assistance Program at $86 million, and the Hazardous Fuels Programs at the Forest Service and DOI at $479 million and $178 million respectively.
The important work accomplished through the Hazardous Fuels programs and the State Fire Assistance program help decrease total federal emergency wildfire suppression costs and help reduce the threat of fire to communities and valuable public lands.
The WDFA would relieve agencies of wildfire suppression shortfalls that have necessitated budget transfers from important land management, restoration, and public service programs to pay for emergency fire suppression. Such transfers have had real and negative impacts on a host of important activities that are vital to care for our Nation’s public, tribal, state, and private lands and translate into less land management, road maintenance, lost jobs and recreational opportunities, among many more impacts, and long-term increased fire risk and costs.
In support of this bill, the Fire Suppression Funding Solutions Partner Caucus, a diverse set of international, national, tribal, and local organizations interested in sustainable land management was formed and strongly supported the bill. Earlier, this year, the IAWF, along with 235 other organizations, signed a letter from this caucus supporting the legislation.
However, on December 9, 2014, the Fiscal Year 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Act was released and unfortunately, it did not contain any text on the WDFA.
Excluding the WDFA and a wildfire cap adjustment to fund wildfire disasters will continue to result in negative impacts to all other programs funded through the Interior appropriations bill. This problem is not likely to go away any time soon. The IAWF will continue to provide support to and work with the broad spectrum of other supporting organizations on efforts to solve this problem in the next Congress.
On January 6, 2015, U.S. Representatives Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore, reintroduced the bill, labeled for 2015 as H.R. 167. For more information and to track the bill’s progress, visit GovTrack Bill Tracking: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr167.