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tv   Johns Hopkins Discussion on Wildfires and Public Health Concerns  CSPAN  April 17, 2019 12:02pm-1:30pm EDT

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approved expanded number of communities that collect and separate recycled materials. we also assisted local government and identified in removing waste hotspots in and around the waterways. looking ahead we will focus out on expanding his effort with our european and japanese counterparts to the six asian countries that contribute nearly 60% of the world's marine waste. this summer wears slated to finalize a new partnership with the state department help improve its waste management. epa will provide technical assistance to develop a comprehensive solid waste management program that will prevent land-based sources of trash from reaching the ocean. when i travel to the g7 and friends for the g20 and japan later this spring i will make marine litter a top priority. let's move move on to third anl area, water infrastructure. the unfortunate reality is that many projects around the world never get off the ground due to a lack of funding.
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not a lack of ambition or necessity. due to budget realities and the skill of our challenges we had to develop greater voice to finance these projects and modernize -- >> if we could get started, please. hello, hello hello. my name is andrea. i have the honor of being the direct of the johns hopkins center for injury research and policy in the department of health policy and management in the bloomberg school of public health. at i am so happy to welcome you to today's daniel raskin memorial symposium on injury prevention. we are delighted and honored you all here with us today, and it's my pleasure to introduce dean emeritus dr. michael klag particularly, are it did. dr. klag, and a nationally known expert on epidemiology and prevention of heart and kidney disease served for 12 years as the dean of the bloomberg school. he is back in baltimore from an
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well-deserved sabbatical will be celebrated this afternoon as the second century distinguished professorship. where delighted you could be here with us today to welcome us. thank you, dean klag. [applause] >> well, thank you. it's great for me to be here. as andrea so kindly said, i am being inducted as a second century professor turley so evident i told about that ssp, is that refer to my age? i have hit 100 jet, but it's special to me to be here. as a dean, during my sabbatical year i had the great pleasure of meeting lisa and philip, danny's rather and it just got to meet joan so it's great to be here. and we were talking about this when we had dinner out in california may be eight months ago or six months ago and it was, that we could be here, so that worked out some very happy to help open this. we are grateful to the raskin
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family for the support of this and today we really come to celebrate danny's, his passion for firefighting and life-saving. and so to recognize the community hero today we do that to honor danny. we're very fortunate to have i think a great speakers are going to talk about a really important topic, and that is the intersection of wild lands and urban land and fires. i just spent probably for months in california this year so i got to see some of those fires, unfortunately, up close. they cost more than they ever have. terrible tragedies in terms of loss of life and property. so i think it's very timely and going to talk about this. like you, i'm happy our speakers and the raskin, is your, and of the photo really enlightening symposium, so thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you dean klag.
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on behalf of the injury center like to add our gratitude to the raskin family for making this symposium possible and to the extent i welcome to lisa, philip and joan. where so happy you can be here today. to honor danny. as you see on a welcome slide we would also like to gratefully acknowledge the cosponsorship of the organizations at the school listed, the bloomberg american health initiative, the center for public health preparedness, the department of health behavior in society, the johns hopkins education and research center for occupational safety and health, and although in the center for health promotion. let me briefly tell you about our center and if you're the logistics for today's session. johns hopkins center for injury research and policy is one of ten centers of excellence for injury research in the country that receives core funding on the cdc's injury control research center program. the center is multidisciplinary faculty and staff share a vision of living and the society that
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is safe where all people are free from the burden of life altering injuries. our mission is to conduct innovative research, teach today's practitioners, and tomorrow's leaders, and translate discoveries into effective solutions to the costly and devastating problem of injuries in our society. please take a look at our materials which we displayed in the table where you came in, and be in touch if we can be of any assistance in the future. we are especially pleased to have representatives with us today from many of the major fire and life safety organizations, several of whom you'll hear from on today's panel. in addition there are also handouts from the international association of wild land fires and united states fire administration in the back, so please help yourself. lastly, we are tweeting about today's event, or some people tweeting about today's event. if you are a tweeter, please,
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please add to the conversation by using the hashtag that you see posted around the room here, hashtag raskin2019. so without further ado let's begin our program with steve remembered sins of daniel raskin. an attorney has been with the national transportation safety board since 1983 he developed the in psp access the state and local government outreach program. prior to coming to ntsb staff to offices in committees in the us house of representatives. we are delighted you could be with us today, steve. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, andrea. thank you to the raskin family both for being here and for sponsoring this event. it's an honor for me to talk about daniel raskin. i knew both as an ntsb
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investigator and as a brother of volunteer firefighter. danny was lieutenant with the chestnut ridge fire department and baltimore county. on july 9, 1990, he responded to a barn fire in his community. he was connecting a supply hose from the hydrant to the bumper when a six-inch iron intake fitting blue off the engine hitting him in the chest. as he fell from the initial blow, the intake elbow struck in the back of the head and he died several days later from injuries that he suffered. so every firefighter knows the line of duty death is a real tragedy and something that sticks with you, as particularly difficult for me because we were close friends. there's a special bond among firefighters that's difficult to explain and its often difficult for those not in a fire service to understand that since many of you here from the fire service, i think you will appreciate what that bond is, and that's what i felt with the danny.
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but danny and i would be able to share stories about the calls we ran and the people we encountered, some of them are funny, some of them were not here but when i think of danny the thing i remember more than anything else is how he was so full of life. he always had a positive way about him even if he wasn't happy about something he would find a way to put in a positive light. whenever danny came into the room he would brighten it up and filled with life. he always made you smile. he had a one-liner or something clever to say that everybody would remember. several years ago i was at the scene of a train truck collision that happen in rosedale maryland which is another section of baltimore county. ntsb was investigating this collision and while i was there i went into a single baltimore county fire commander who remembered danny from his days at chestnut ridge. it was striking to me how much the memories we compared the danny were alike and how much we both remember the positive spirit and the demeanor that danny's commitment to service, the danny had through his time
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both that ntsb and in baltimore county. danny was the kind of guy who is always ready to lend a hand or to help someone who needed it regardless of whether it was part of his official duties or not. he was always there to help you out. undoubtedly that reflects the fact he genuinely cared, he could of the people around him. he cared about the community served both in baltimore county and that ntsb in his investigation. so for me it was a real honor to be able to know danny come to work with him, and to serve as a brother firefighter with him. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much, steve. a highlight of this annual event is that the syndicates to identify a community hero in the injury prevention field, and in keeping with today's theme of fire safety, our faculty and
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staff unanimously and enthusiastically identified these years a warty, jim crawford. and we asked the perfect person to help us make the presentation. mary kay is a member, long-standing member, of our centers advisory board and she has been a key reason that the center has been able to undertake a number of fire and life safety activities, research, and programs. and we are grateful for that. mary kay, her roots in the field back having been vice president for public education at the national fire protection association, and president of the home safety council. she now leads her own company helping her clients develop and deliver award-winning safety programs. so please let celebrate jim. [applause] >> thank you, everybody. i am just thrilled to be a today representing that only the external advisory committee for the johns hopkins center for injury research and policy but
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also vision 20/20, and also innumerable people across this nation, including many in this room today who count jim crawford as a dear and trusted friend. in my case it's a friendship that has lasted almost 40 years. truly through thick and thin. anybody who knows jim knows he hates to be singled out for praise of any kind. his classic line, i can take anything but a a compliment. so i assure you as deserved as this recognition is, he is the only one in this room who is not enjoying it. jim, it's a manager for the vision 20/20 project, a grassroots collaborative effort to develop and execute a national fire and life safety strategic plan that focuses in the glorious tradition of all you public health practitioners on outcomes rather than outputs.
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vision 20/20 is developed, supported, and a permitted by virtually all the leading national fire organizations, partner organizations such as the injury center. its funders or assistance firefighter grants on u.s. department of homeland security and fema. it is house with the institution of fire engineers usa branch, and it skillfully facilitated by jim crawford. jim began his career as a volunteer firefighter in 1975, and was then hired in 1976 to begin a long career long career in three different fire departments. in portland, oregon, he rose through the racks to become the division chief fire marshal and then moved to vancouver, washington, to surface fire marshal planning chief. jim crawford is spent a significant national leader as a member of the standards council, chair of 1037, that's the standard for fire marshals, and
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past president of the international fire marshals association, among many other roles. vision 20/20 has defied expectations by doing what many thought to be impossible, convening more than two dozen fire and life safety organizations confederal agencies, the private sector, individual leaders, hundreds of fire department prevention advocates each with individual passions and silos to come to agreement on six essential national strategies to prevent loss from fire in our country. by encouraging a pushing and supporting all these forces to work together over the past decade, vision 20/20 and as many partners have helped spur a new trend or movement that emphasizes an integrated approach to fire prevention and management we call community risk reduction, or crr. for jim, it's all about the data to drive decision-making. that's the head part of the
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equation, but what sets jim apart is, isn't that he marries this laser focus on data collection, , assessment, evaluation with an equal commitment to the heart, to the relationship equation, but hat sets jim apart among those doing the work and the inclusion and respect for the people who are served by it. in fact, this is a big lesson for those of you youngsters out there who are just starting your career, vision 20/20 is not jim crawford first attempt at rallying forces to adopt a different approach to solving problems. he tried it in 1981 when he formed the national fire and burn education association, and failed. then he tried again in 1987 with a north american coalition for fire and life safety education. some of us in this room participated in some of these things, and that, too, as they say, flamed out. but bob the builder crawford
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refused to give up. can we built it? yes, we can. and in 2006, long after most would have hung up their hammers, jim and begin laying the groundwork for what it's become vision 20/20, an innovative and thriving collaborative that is changing the mindset of the american fire service to take a data-driven, multifaceted, and systematic approach to public safety that includes prevention, engineering and emergency response, one that celebrates and models proven practices. jim crawford is a real hero in our field. he is one of a kind. majesty would argue otherwise, jim deserves the special award. so allow me to invite the happy recipient to the stage, and andrea it will present jim crawford with the johns hopkins center for injury research and policy 2019 community hero award.
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[applause] >> i'll be brief. i want to say that it's an honor, it's a humbling experience to be recognized in such a prestigious place, to be associated even distantly with the raskin family. so i appreciate that. from the heart, thank you. i also want to say that i've never done anything on my own in my life, except maybe failed. thank you, mary kay, for pointing that out. [laughing] i i can tell you from long experience that the difference
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between failure and accomplishing something is money. we've been able to secure funding to accomplish some of the things that we collectively said years ago we should be working together on and we are able to do that now because of the funding from the assistance to firefighters grant program, from other places, small donations from around the country to demonstrate what can be done when you have some resources to do that. and i can assure you that it is a team of people -- i won't need them here, but the steering committee members, executive committee members, and the many volunteers from around the country who are willing to pull together just because it's the right thing to do, is amazing. and i am being honored for the collective effort, so thank you very much. [applause] >> most well-deserved honor on a very auspicious occasion when we take a few moments to reflect on
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how grateful we all are that their people are willing to run into burning buildings to save people who they don't know, or to come to someone's home and get them the medical care that they need. it's just an awesome responsibility and its something that those of us who don't do it just are so appreciative of. so that's what's behind today, and let's do the program and talk about wildfires and what we can do to protect ourselves and what public health can do. so it's my honor now to introduce this tonya hoover. she was named the superintendent of the u.s. fire administration national fire academy in may of 2017. a superintendent, miss hoover provides leadership for the national fire academy and a focus on enhancing the ability of fire and emergency services and allied professionals to deal more effectively with fire and host of other emergencies.
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she's an accomplished executive with more than 20 years of management experience in local and state government. she's successfully worked at high levels of government in developing and implementing all types of fire protections, fire prevention come fire training, and community risk reduction programs. so we look forward to hearing from you and the panel today, and we are very appreciative that you are here, so thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon, everyone. >> good afternoon. >> i don't know who writes that stuff. first, i just want to congratulate jim. i know how much he loves complements. as a member, long-standing member of the jim crawford fan club who has paid her dues recently -- [laughing]
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congratulations on behalf of the united states fire administration of the national fire academy. it's quite an honor to be among you all. i feel like i'm at old home week, even though we are not old. this is quite an honor to be with a group of international fire prevention community risk reduction members. it's a little overwhelming for me, but thank you for everything you do every single day. it's also quite an honor and privilege to introduce our panel members for today. all of them i have worked with. some of them i have worked with more than others and have controlled my life. first, like to introduce to you ken pimlott, , chief pimlott mckenna fire service career in 1984 as reserve firefighter. he joined cal fire in 1987 as a seasonal firefighter and
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ultimately worked his way through the ranks to director of cal fire. a position he held from 2010-aco's retired in december of 2018. chief pimlott as a bachelors of science degree and forth resource management from humboldt state university and is a registered leadership, cal fie and the state of california battle historic wildfires in unprecedented bark beetle epidemic while at the same time increased the pace and scale of forest management and fire prevention. yes, he did chief pimlott participates, participated in numerous committees of the state and national level, testified before congress on multiple occasions in support of legislation related to forest management and fire protection, including federal funding funding fixes. also joining us today, michael
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gollner -- hi, michael. he's an associate professor of fire protection engineering at the university of maryland in college park, maryland. he is a member of the board of directors for the international association of wildland fire and serves as a research advisory board of the national fire protection association -- agency, association fire protection research foundation. dr. gollner studies now fire
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spread whi interurban face. the physical dynamics of wildfires come wildland fire spread, the process by which structures ignite from embers and emissions at associate health effects from wildfire smoke. welcome. our third panel member, michele
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steinberg, is the wildfire division director at the national fire protection association. leading a team dedicated to safety outreach, in fda'ldfire related projects cover a broad spectrum ofety education, advocacy and professional training at international outreach. including fire wise usa.
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recognition program in the wildfire community preparedness day campaign. she serves as the board of directors of the international association of and what's been happening in the west is not unique to california. as you will hear today, this is a fire, that is threat the computer wildland-urban interface is throughout the united states, and while we may see it front and center every day in california, a problem that is national. so really where things started and what we are seeing is a trend towards longer fire seasons. it's not that we have had disastrous fire season in the west at in california in previous decades, but what we are seeing are fire seasons that really, is a lasting all year. we are expng conditions where having large wildland
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fires in january in northern california. some of the wettest places in the state historically. conditions are absolutely changing and going along with this that has to do with change in vegetative characteristics. i would use the word climate change today because i can't undo that that is something ths been polarizing too many across the country, depending on perspective. at the end of the day i can tell you firefighters are facing a a changing climatic conditions had an everyday. we can call it whatever we want to, but things are changing out there and firefighters are seeing it had on. one of that is our changing vegetative -- more flammable vegetation of further north in latitude and movie up in elevation. things we would historically see in the southern california fan and a wind driven fire, the chaparral, that's happening out in the southern and central sierra. as tonya talked about, millions of dead trees in southern and central sierra. all of this is creating a fuel
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bed that's right for fire. put on top of that 40 million people living in california, over 750,000 homes just in the urban interface state responsibility every company that wildland area in california, all of that is ripe for grading the challenges we are seeing. and then as weather patterns change were seeing more frequent and intense drought. for california we experienced some 2012-2017 the worst drought in the states history can literally had a whole community dry up and go away because it could not sustain itself for no water. the governor signed a declaration of emergency in 2014. 2014. a fright of cascading effects from that drought but certainly parched conditions right to feel better wildland fire was a significant impact. what we are seeing more extreme weather events. the car fire in writing mid-summer 2018 last year very
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much eclipsed by the fires that occurred later put it into the way the car fire experienced a a fire tornado half-mile wide swath of the ef-3 tornado, winds of 100 for three miles per hour fueled just off a firestorm toe community not only moving firebrands ripping up vegetation and homes and taking the life of a firefighter, several firefighters and civilians. we are seeing erratic behavior, intense winds. the north bay fires in 2017 around santa rosa in napa, 80-mile an hour winds that were very focused and aimed these fires like a blowtorch at communities. extended duration red flag events, and red flag conditions, red flag warnings are posted by the national weather service in the criteria include high winds, low humidity which leads to rapidfire growth and spread. we've had this historically around the country but we are
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seeing now longer duration events. on the thomas fire that burned in 2017 in december, same time a choice or after the north bay fires, 13 day red flag event. longest recorded that we are aware of continuous red flag event pic you are saying three and 4% humidity over the entire southern california los angeles basin and intense winds servicing in many of the drainages from malibu south into san diego county. that creates potential and did create or fuel the fire storms. and then just result in rapid rate of fire growth and spread, fires are burning and extreme rates, they are spotting miles ahead of themselves creating new fires ahead of the main fire all of which is converging and just creating a rapid, and extreme growth of fires and obviously communities out in front. some want to show just a quick
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video clip that we worked with 60 minutes on that spins just an and have talking about using a spread model, what happened on the campfire, the fire that burned and destroyed paradise and the surrounding communities last fall. >> using this new tool, ken pimlott, chief of the california department of forestry and fire protection, showed us how fast the campfire spread. computerized projections on this 3-d map showed the course of the fire. >> where did the fire start? >> november 8, quickly accelerated by 40-mile an hour winds coming from the north. >> look at this. >> the fire was growing at a rate of one football field a second. so an acre a second. within two hours the fire is impacting the command of paradise. it took 12 hours to essentially consume all of that, record pace. >> how many acres in total?
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[inaudible] >> what's going on? egeland says that this is the new normal. >> every year we are seeing fires like this that he can more and more extreme but we have five years ago. the vegetation is critically parched. the mean temperature in the state is going up and so these are all factors that are just really a combination of things that are driving very extreme events. >> the challenges to respond to these type of fires can we focus on the campfire but when these fires are burning they are often multiple fires going on around the state can run the western united states at the same time. so again managing multiple fires, moving resources come all that create complexity beyond just the actual fire itself. large number of structures threatened or burning, i've is in the case of the camp fire, you know, immediately when weno
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an evacuation structure defense mode, and when you multiple fires burning where lives are threatened, properties being impacted, all that creates a complexity and a drawdown on resources. california with 40 million people, many fire departments, lots of resources around the state. at the end of the in the last two years in 2017-18, california has relied heavily on outside resources from around the country and outside the country to australia and to others. i believe would utilize 17 different states in both 2017 and 18. even with the plethora of resources available in california, these incidents, this complexity is rapidly outpacing the ability to staff and mitigate these events with resources in-house. we talk a lot about their craft.
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aircraft gets a lot of media attention. aircraft are very effective in what they do. in california we use aircraft and helicopters and fixed wing aircraft initial attack with a great resources to keep fire small. 95% of the five we want at ten acres or less and we achieve that goal and aircraft are very crucial. when fires a skiable initial attack we have an extended attack for major fiber aircraft with a key role the plant operational aspects of putting the fire out in key areas protecting communities, pretreating ridge tops can always think that help firefighters on the ground gain ground and be effective. but a fire like the camp fire, the car park in north bay fires in 2017, when you look at winds from 40-50 or more miles an hour, visibility zero, aircraft cannot operate, can't be effective. they are not the panacea to make these fires go away or be mitigated. we have a lack of situational awareness. without the ability to resources in the air because of
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visibility, wind, cherenkov et cetera, very challenging in these kinds of fires to understand what's going on and if a rapidly changing dynamic on the ground. we talk about national, international response. extended commitment of resources and this is what place into why the work year of university evian is is so important. the impact of both firefighters and public safety, it's not just the direct exposure to the fire and the hazards on the fire ground. it's also the long-term impacts because now we have a year-round condition. we are exposing firefighters to months of 500 all year. these of both psychological, physical impacts tickets the health impacts from smoke that not only affect the firefighters on the ground but communities hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles away by these long duration events. significant challenges that result there.
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ultimately and, unfortunately, the last four or five years has been a decade of broken, we seen a decadent broken records, particularly in the last four or five years. i can tell you in 2018 just in california, 1.8 million acres burned. 22,703 structures were destroyed. most of those on the fire paradise, the camp fire. and hundreds of hotels, six firefighters, 94 civilians. that was a record year for california and actually california had the record for the country in 2018, for these statistics. the camp fire with the most destructive fire with almost 19,000 structures destroyed. the mendocino complex near clearlake was accommodation of two different fires but it turned out to be the largest fire in the states history at over 459,000 acres. again the acres. again the camp fire being the deadliest fire with 85
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fatalities. at calvary keep statistics and three primary areas the delis, the top 20 guns, the top 20 most destructive and the top 20 largest. and the telling tale of why we know things are change is that ten of the 20 largest and ten of the 20 most destructive fires have occurred in the last ten years. and, quite frankly, most of those have occurred in the last five or six years. bottom line going forward as a turn over to the next panel members, we could spend a day talking about the response, in fact, the challenges and the organization behind all of this. but ultimately it's this entire package we're talking about today, not just the response, that we need to continue to engage in to mitigate these impacts, the urban interface communities around the country. so with that, thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you, everyone. i'm really honored to be a today with the raskin family, here at the skull public-health. i'm just down the road at the university of maryland in college park, department of fire protection engineering. we focus on first both instructions and wildland fires. i want to give you a little of our perspective or my perspective, particularly in how these fires affect our communities in terms of how i've actually burning down those homes? then i'll give my perspective on what i see some work in public health and talk about some of the recent collaborations within which hopefully will be very interesting to you all here. in the wildfire problem that chief pimlott was mentioning there's a lot of factors that go into that but really we are seeing not more fires but more extreme fires. and so i teach a class and wildland fire at a toasted spirits remain package you can
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summarize. the first is we haven't had a lot of fires in the landscape fire exclusion. people are moving into committees that were difficult to do prescribed burning and we've got really good at putting out small fires. this adds a lot of fuel to the landscape. the second is that a lot more people living there. because the wildland urban face and is not a multiple structures, power lines, other ignition sources, and those people are in places that use to burn, and now windows fires move through, those homes and those people are threatened. that didn't used to happen. and finally, , we can't neglect climate change. this is become a year-round problem in california and a year-round, although the united states, , and were single incidences of extreme fire danger whether. with that comes extreme fires. we can see it in the data this blue line shows the number of fires, the number of fires have. it's pretty steady. this is in the united states.
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however, the acres burned as medically gone up and to be honest the acres burned going up is about 3% or less of the fires. it's a couple very, very large fires ever your driving that. i don't have to mention that the cost of suppressing those fires is incredible. we are putting a lot of money into suppressing those fires and nowadays unfortunately to rebuilding those communities as well. the one thing we contract and we don't have good data on public health but we do track house is burning. and california really been a leader in tracking the houses burning and surveying the damage. and, unfortunately, in some ways it is paid off recently. you can see and the last two years the dramatic rise in the number of structures that have e burned. whole communities completely destroyed including some of those pictured that were not even necessary thought to be in high fire danger areas. i'm going to talk about why we think that is. i can't neglect the fact that we are in maryland and why does
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this even mad on the east coast? if you look at this map, fires and wildland-urban interface happen all over the country. there was a recent fire in the new jersey pine barren. saban on the eastern shore here in maryland, and chimney tops fire, gatlinburg tennessee in 2016. who thought there would be a large wildfire in tennessee? yet people locally into airy and worked in the field knew that there was a high fire danger there. unfortunately, it wasn't prepared for. there was a lot of elvis that went into it but the incidence of extreme weather is changing and we are seeing goosing areas at least more often than we ever thought we would before that result in 14 fatalities and devastating losses. we look at this, basically summary and how we think about the disastrous sequence of wildfires. it starts with high fire danger conditions here we see that the
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winds are very strong. there's been a long drought, very dry fuels. then you get extreme fire behavior but it's not the fact you have extreme fire behavior. it's that it gets to residential fires. it ignites fires within our communities. i'll talk about how that happens. it is primarily inverse. what really makes the difference is not just those residential fires are starting but that the fire protection resources, and become totally overwhelmed. just imagine this pic figure oa fire in your house come in if you follow fire sprinklers and it is designed so the fire department will come and respond and their will and a relatively quick time and will put it out. multiply that times 1000, 2000. you don't have 2000 fire engines right there and so this is a challenging problem and this is sort of what drives this wui disaster often back to this how we think we can help it. the wui child modeling is understanding why do some homes that night, why don't others,
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and how can we break this chain of destruction? why did the pump ignite? it doesn't. there's green grass already. this is a question that researchers have thought about. i want to talk about three ways the fire can ignite a home. the first of always thought of, radiation. you have big flames. they flare up and a right next to your home. but you get adequate defensible space and you rent your home, it won't ignite. it has to be pretty close to the house to cause that ignition. the separation distance between the fire and the home is really, really important. what we usually see radiation happen is home to home spread if your homes are too close and they don't have fireproof materials, the spread can happen. we also see direct flame content. one of the recent items that were studied by nist were fences come wooden fences right up to the house and the flames can
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literally creep along. if you don't clear all the fuels around, people are really a his fires can creep in. and the last element, embers or firebrand and this is key. this is responsible for at least half maybe the majority of homes that are lost in his wildfires. in the tubbs fire in northern california, these over an eight lane freeway, over industrial areas, over a kmart that burned and landed in a community and then destroyed a committee, the whole community of homes. these small burning embers will fly into a community of the don't just let any meeting start a fire. in fact, some of fires can start up to nine hours after the fire is gone. this is a real challenge because it's hard once the community has evacuated in deciding whether it safe to go in and went to be different you can see some of these results. it's the embers, the flying firebrand lrip to redesign our committees so we protected from
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them. you could see a clip on the screen. this is a fire and australia and ostrow has some extreme embers. they come off the bark of eucalyptus but this gives you a sense, almost a rainstorm or a blizzard or shower of embers. we're not looking at everyone but we need to prevent our own from igniting from these. when we think about it, going back to the sequence, how do we break the sequence, that cycle? there's a lot of different ways to do it but i think the biggest is in prevention, codes instead, committee programs, , courtney a response to do adequate suppression and designing the communities at home so they don't ignite. if we do design right, if we plan our suppression, , plan evacuation, do fire modeling to know what the fire michael and a quickly it might there, we can try to reduce the risk. we can never make it zero but if you can stop 90% of the ignition, the fire service is
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safer and have an excellent chance of stopping the small amount of fires that can happen. it is not just about the community burning tickets are going around it. this is the image of the thomas fire and you can just see the love of smoke. at this but most of it is pushing offshore but a lot of that came back later and some into the valleys, and health was really affected in the area. this is my perspective on some of the health impacts that i think researchers here could really tap into and there's a lot of opportunity here for the concert making a difference one is obviously the smoke. there's long term exposure to surrounding populations and is something that i started to be studied and i think there's a lot more work i can be done on all angles. there's also a very important aim. firefighters of first responders. when you go into a burning building as a structural firefighter, you're wearing -- when your wildland firefighter
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you don't have a mask. think about it. they are on sometimes 20 something hours come you're not going care that much oxygen. what do you wear? you were heavily exerting yourself. this is a different problem and we have to think about it. in fact, of unit is a we started collaborating with researchers at northeastern university thanks to the private actor fire prevention safety grant and looking at what happens when you have a real short-term exposure to a lot of this wildland fire? what's in it works with long-term health effects? that in something that's been missing. we've seen in structural fires and now starting to ask for wildland fires. toxic pollutants, and i'm not talking about what happen in the air but think about what's left after the fire goes. they are going to be clean at paradise california for years took everything that was in there, toxic and otherwise, it's now all over the place. the topsail needs to be clear. how do revealed that community can how he refill the water
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supply? is a lot of open questions very important. and finally there's a mental and community health, communities are becoming, as a first responders are recovering. these are not exclusive but there's a lot of elements here that are really important. there's something else i noticed in some of these fires that really struck me. evacuation. let me show you a picture. from santa rosa, california. this was kaiser permanente hospital in santa rosa, california. there were evacuating patients as the fire came. running through the smoke, this happened at nursing homes. there was a hospital that burned down in the most recent fire and it's not just insurance companies that are wondering but it's healthcare workers, recovery afterwards. there so many questions in this area and i think the people that do the suppression planning, design, resilience and health all need to collaborate on this because it's the most vulnerable population that are being the
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most severely affected. we want to prevent this. this is that community i mentioned, copy part in santa rosa, california, in 20 something that completely burned down after embers jumped over a freeway and a lot of other areas to get here. what if we could have prevented that? have public health improve? i think prevention is the key. we need to plan, innovate and engineer new materials and things and we need to think about how to equip our first responders so that they can respond to dispense as safely and as effectively as possible. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon, everyone. it's a privilege to be with you today. my name is michele steinberg five work for the sda, a national fire protection association. following on the presentations by ken and my club want to about human dimension of this issue
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and how we prepare homes and communities from wildfire. so if you're not a with us there's a lot of folks and fell in place you can wear a global nonprofit devoted to eliminating death, injury and property and economic loss due to fire,, electrical or related hazards and wildfires and part of our mission since about 1986 play a part. i have the update is like. i don't know how i snagged this but it is a national problem. we've emphasize that this can happen anywhere in the country but it is local solutions. before i get into the people part of this in terms of what we can teach people who are already living in harm's way, i do want to give a little shock to the policy context of what's missing. i spent the last week in san francisco at the national planning conference. i am a planet by training and education, and so my fellow municipal county city state, federal planners were very much
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hanging on our words about wildfire and hazards and what can be done at the local level. that's where it needs to happen. the decisions that are made about land use, about construction citing design are all important decisions that will affect the risk for years and years and years down the road. state and local building codes and ordinances are critical. nfpa promulgates codes and standards. the international code council as well. these are very important and in large part they are missing. not in california with one of the most stringent building codes wildfire protection in the planet, but still not required everywhere and we are finding with the changes that we are seeing we might want to rethink that. we need incentives and disincentive to limit construction in the most high-risk areas. i think, michael, i don't know if you've visited kahlenberg. i've into other areas where you just look about the the construction looks like and the topography and you think i would ever build right there?
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that particular spot, it's so dangerous point we also suffer with inadequate mapping and modeling of the hazards. it's hard for authorities to know and understand where and under what conditions they need to apply these planning and building constraints. life goes on without recognition that your building into hazardous areas. what i would like to focus on for the next few minutes is the 98% problem. what can we do to mitigate the 98% of homes that are already on the landscape? wielded build about 2% new housing across the country every year, and again what jeffcoat want to codes and standards in place that for new construction that makes sense that we have lots of people facing the risk and may be don't even know they have a problem. this concept, the home ignition zone, michael alluded to. this was coined i jacqueline, research scientist recently retired from usda forest service. the idea that people can take
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control of the wildfire risk by making their homes and surrounding ignition resistant. i was privileged to be at a presentation where dr. cohen was explained his site and some are in the back of the room said jack, this isn't rocket science. he said no, it's much harder than that. social sense. it's about people. [laughing] find timecode to talk about the social science and the fire science informs the social science. essentially fire doesn't care if the fuel it is eating up is a house or a woodpile for a car or a tree. if you care about your house and your car and your tree, you need to work on this, and neighbors really have to work together. you saw the urban conflagration which was built in coffey park. we are i can sing and say that when it 13 years ago suffered a film was competed as a sunken the great baltimore fire, 1996 and most of the downtime was wiped away in the, on a windy
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day when the structures copy of the structures on fire. this means finally they would that work together to make -- prevent this. this is how do you convince people to do that. that's the trick. what can we do. we can't control the wind but we can control the fuel for the fire to some degree. for homeowners this means everything on the house, the roof, siding, walls, the decks and around the house within about 100 feet. it's what the own. it's what they need to modify. they need science-based steps. anything to learn about effective simple safety measures. i'm showing you an image of one of the examples of the wildfire research fact sheet that nfpa has worked on. it partners with entrance industry. they have allowed with you some amazing testing of all the different elements, nist as well on his index and all kinds of things. people are hungry for this information to be translated to
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the and weight they can use. nfpa uses a lot of materials both in english and spanish to help people understand what you need to do to prepare the home from wildfire and reduce the risks in the home ignition zone. this all translates into essentially if you do everything right to your house, if you're one of those proactive people that reads all of our stuff and takes it seriously and to do all the work, you are still in trouble if your neighbors haven't done it if they're anywhere close to you. this idea that we give a process of imitation at the community level and recall this program fire wise usa. international recognition program and it essentially helps people work together on reducing their common risks. so to boil it down, what it means is that people must understand their wildfire risk to life and property otherwise they are not going to do much of anything. they need to work together on an action plan and an annual activity. they need to document that activity investment each year
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and they need to receive recognition and encouragement. this all ties into four basic i guess findings or sets of research that we jews over the years that we think are very effective in getting people to change behavior on a community level. so fire wise now is one of 1500 active sites around the united states pics some committees have been doing this for almost 20 years, and the are your local champion for proper district visit fire to get more information and detail on that. what i told players last week is if you don't know that your fire wise site and airy, you need to go find his people. they're probably knock yonder door to say what you doing to office be safer? they are very activated, activated, engaged public that you really need to go and connect with if you haven't already. tools and techniques for behavior change. these are the resources we have use sort of and implement fire wise. the first is good public
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education. what behavior change techniques can we take from this? this information is from a great paper that was done about 20 years ago, public education for earthquake hazards, and so i found it to be very, very similar about when we talk about wildfire and even flood or other risk. we want to move individuals from awareness to action. we want to raise questions in your mind, in other words, how bad could it be? will it affect me and what can i do? and when should i begin? what to provide simple answers and we need to make authorities available over time to continue to reinforce that message. the key fun picking out of this i find very empowering. when people understand their something they can do to reduce their vulnerability, they are more apt to act. we have found is over and over again with firewise. in terms of continuing that education and learning and providing information, this is
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just an example, and do worse we put up not long ago addressing the wildfire threat to homes. i apologize for the very long url. you are probably better off googling the title to find it. it's a free short course you can test your knowledge and is just a very good primer for the average citizen to take a look and understand the problem. the other research that i think is very telling and very helpful is everett rogers diffusion of innovation theory. this is something when you look at how do communities adopt new behaviors? usually you have the wild and crazy innovators. you have one or two people who get gung ho about something. how does that spread of the community and what are the ways you can help it spread? you'll have your early adopters and then your early and late majority coming along later, and then finally you have 16% of people who will never do anything and the call that the laggards, which i love that.
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our program includes signage and we the people say what's the big deal about a sign? the sign is a way to signal the commitment that people have made. it's a pledge. the daily risk reminder, people are super proud of becoming firewise. this is a helpful public signal that signals to the laggards perhaps that we we're moving ia new direction, and it helps people can we do an annual activity as as a requirement of firewise that every year it comes back at the people who might be skeptical and said okay, it's back again, maybe i should take a look. ..
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