Alaska’s landscape depends on wildfires for habitat renewal. Every summer fire is in the news and an extensive response protocol has been developed by federal, state, and local agencies. In addition, a “Firewise” program gives landowners and communities suggestions for managing their land to minimize fire damage should a future fire occur in their area. ANROE has recognized the importance of this topic and since 2011 has offered workshops and educator resources to assist in teaching about fire ecology and management.
During 2011-2016 ANROE offered a series of “Fire in a Changing Climate” 1-credit workshops across the state funded by USDA and Alaska Department of Forestry’s Western Wildfire Urban Interface Grant Program.
ANROE was awarded another Western Wildfire Urban Interface Grant in 2017-2021 to implement what we consider “the next step” in an effort to assist educators in communities with increased risk of wildfire and to encourage mitigation. As of spring of 2018, educator Mary Timm, began offering Wildfire and You in a Changing Climate professional development classes. Mary, owner of Educational Horizons, Tok, AK, has experience working as a classroom teacher for the U.S. Forest Service, and over 20 years with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as an Education Specialist. During 2020, in response to the covid pandemic, Mary developed an online course. Many of the resources she put together are identified and linked on ANROE’s website.