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DAY 1 3 April 2023

0800 - 0900

Registration & Exhibiton 

0900 - 0910

Moderator's Opening Remarks - Glenn Farley, Retired Broadcast Journalist, USA

Session 1:
0910 - 0925

Welcome Address - Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, USA

0925 - 0940

Keynote Address - Governor Kate Brown, Former Governor of Oregon (2015-2023), USA

0940 - 1020

Wildfire Leadership Discussion

Moderator:  Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands, WA DNR, USA


•  Wyatt Frampton, Deputy Forestry Administrator & Deputy State Forester, Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation, USA

•  Rich Elliott, National Wildland Policy Coordinator, International Association of Fire Chiefs, USA

•  George Geissler, Wildland Fire Committee Chair, National Association of State Foresters / State Forester, WA DNR, USA

A high-level discussion of the most pressing obstacles and opportunities facing leaders working in the wildfire space. Panellists represent all levels of government and will share their insights on the changing environmental, social, and political conditions impacting wildfire prevention and response.

1020 - 1045

Refreshment Break & Networking (sponsored by Aero-Flite)

Session 2:
1045 - 1125

Scaling for Growth Panel

Moderator: Russ Lane, Wildfire Divsion Manager, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, USA


•  Chris Niemann, General Manager, Aero-Flite, Inc., USA

•  Paul Linse, Assistant Director - Aviation, Fire & Aviation Management, USDA Forest Service, USA

•  Pierre Carlotti, Former Fighter Pilot, French Air Force, France

Discussion to identify what aerial support growth has recently been experience - or what is needed in the near future.  How do we respond to increase the number of accredited pilots now and into the future to meet the growth.

1125 - 1155

Redefining the Role of Aviation & Working Through the Use of Aircraft During Night-Time Operations - Brian Fennessy, Fire Chief, Orange County Fire Authority, USA

1155 - 1235

Colorado Annual Fire Aviation Training Program - David Zadar, International Association of Fire Chiefs & Major Christopher Moskoff, AASF Commander & Operations Officer for 2-135th- Aviation Regiment, Colorado Army National Guard, USA

1235 - 1400

Lunch Break & Networking (sponsored by Aero-Flite)

1400 - 1440

Landscape Resilience Leadership Discussion

Moderator:  Jen Watkins, Acting Division Manager & Assistant Division Director for Planning, Science & Monitoring, Forest Resilience Division, WA Department of Natural Resources, USA


•  Aaron Fairchild, Co-Founder / Co-CEO, Green Canopy NODE, USA

•  Paul Hessburg, Senior Research Ecologist, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, USA

•  Dr./Prof. William Nikolakis, Executive Director/Asst. Prof., Gathering Voices Society, USA

•  Russ VaRuss Vaagen, Vaagen Timbers, USA

Landscapes hardened against wildfie stand a better chance of surviving and even preventing catastrophic wildfires.  This panel will discuss practical actions and the guiding vision behind efforts to ensure our landscapes are just as prepared as our communities in fire prone areas.  The panel of experts are deeply involved in creating and restoring health to our forests and landscapes and capitalizing on the opportunities provided by landscape health and resilience.

1440 - 1510

Lessons Learned from Australia - Assistant Commissioner Ben Millington, Director, State Operations, New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Australia

1510 - 1540

Refreshment Break & Networking (sponsored by Aero-Flite)

1540 - 1600

PHOS-CHEK®: 60 Years of Performance & Partnership - Jeff Emery, President, Global Fire Safety, Perimeter Solutions, USA

1600 - 1640

The Opportunities of Wildfire Mitigation Panel

Moderator:  Dr. Jonathan Fink, Director, Digital Testbed Center, Portland State University, USA


•  Dr. John Kitzhaber, Former Oregon Governor, USA

•  Dr. Mindy CrandallAssistant Professor, Forest Policy, Oregon State University, USA

•  Dr Indroneil Ganguly, Associate Professor, University of Washington, USA

•  Dr. Harry Nelson, Associate Professor, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Canada

The Pacific Northwest currently has several overlapping challenges and opportunities related to forest health, housing availability, rural economics, and decarbonization. Starting from a white paper prepared by former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, our panel will discuss ways to promote a more integrated approach to all of these issues. Specifically, to reduce the growing incidence of catastrophic wildfires, Northwest forests need massive amounts of mechanical thinning to help offset a century of fire suppression. However, there are currently no ways to effectively pay for this work, beyond direct government subsidies. At the same time, dwindling supplies of affordable housing in our cities are contributing to a growing incidence of homelessness, while rural economies are losing their natural resource foundations, leading to depopulation as young people migrate to cities, further pressuring stretched housing supplies. Finally, our region's legacy as a renewable energy supplier due to abundant hydropower and more recent contributions from wind and solar, could potentially be enhanced by additional green fuels formed through the pelletization of forest waste streams. 

Our panel will explore the economic, environmental, political, and social aspects of developing a supply chain that connects well-managed forests to the generation of sustainable, climate-friendly wood products, the construction of lower-cost urban housing, and an increase in plant-based renewable energy. Panel members include Governor Kitzhaber and forest economists Mindy Crandall from Oregon State University, Indroneil Ganguly from University of Washington, and Harry Nelson from the University of British Columbia. 


Moderator's Closing Remarks - Glenn Farley, Retired Broadcast Journalist, USA

1640 - 1740

Drinks Reception (sponsored by Fortress North America)


Coaches Depart for the Museum of Flight


Event Dinner (sponsored by Bridger Aerospace)

DAY 2 4 April 2023

0830 - 0855

Registration & Exhibition

0855 - 0900

Moderator's Opening Remarks - Glenn Farley, Retired Broadcast Journalist, USA

0900 - 0920

Keynote Address - Sarah Fisher, Deputy Director, Fire & Aviation Management, USDA Forest Service, USA

0920 - 0950

Wildfire SOS - Dan Reese, President, International Wildfire Consulting Group, USA

0950 - 1030

Accelerating Wildfire Resources Panel

Moderator:  Tim Sheehy, CEO, Bridger Aerospace, USA


•  John Gould, UAFA President / President & CEO, 10Tanker, USA

•  Jennifer Draughon, UAFA Director / President, Neptune Aviation Services, USA

•  Brett L'Esperance, UAFA Secretary/Treasurer / CEO, Dauntless Air, USA

•  Matt Isley, United Aerial Firefighters Association, USA

•  Brett Brainerd, UAFA Vice President, United Aerial Firefighters Association, USA

The need to scale up Wildfire Aviation Resources and invest in intital attack is being felt globally.  This panel will discuss the effectiveness of inital attack, supply chain issues, resource sharing and visions for how government and industry can most effectively partner together.

1030 - 1100

Refreshment Break & Networking (sponsored by Aero-Flite)

1100 - 1140

Latest Technology in Wildfire Detection & Suppression Panel

Moderator:  John Longhurst, CEO, Tangent Link


•  Dave Toelle, Aviation Projects Manager, Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology-Aerial Firefighting, USA

•  Greg Denton, Fire & Emergency Services, Business Leader, Overwatch Imaging, USA

•  Jon McLaughlin, Board Member, Intterra, USA

•  Tyler Smith, Account Executive, OroraTech, USA

•  Kat Williams, Director of Government Development, Pano AI, USA

A panel discussion highlighting the advances and innovations aiding early detection and suppression of wildfires. Panelists from the public and private sectors will offer their expertise developing and implementing wildfire detection and response systems and policies.

1140 - 1210

Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Fight Fires - Dirk Giles, National UAS Program Manager & Justin Baxter, National UAS Operations, USDA Forest Service, USA

1210 - 1230

Fortress's continued Innovations of Qualified Long Term Fire Retardants - Bob Baird, Chief Base Operations Officer, Fortress North America, LLC, USA

1230 - 1250

A Conversation with Representative Derek Kilmer - Derek Kilmer, United States Representative of Washington's 6th Congressional District, USA

1250 - 1400

Lunch Break & Networking (sponsored by Aero-Flite)

1400 - 1420

5W: The West's Web of Wildfire, Water & Weather - Kate Dargan, Senior Wildfire Advisor, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, USA

Session 3:
1420 - 1500

The Hidden Cost of Wildfire Smoke Panel

Moderator:  JanMarie Ward, Senior Public Health Policy & Project Advisor, American Indian Health Commission, USA


•  Congresswoman Kim Schrier, US Representative for Washington's 8th Congressional District, US House of Representatives, USA

•  Derrick Belgarde, Executive Director, Chief Seattle Club, USA

•  David Molitor, Associate Professor of Finance & Economics, Gies College of Business, University of Illinois, USA

•  Erin McTigue, Smoke Management Coordinator, Environmental Protection Agency - Region 10, USA

"Smoke season" has become a regular feature of recent Northwest summers.  This panel will explain the hidden and surprising impacts of smoke to our communities, our economy, and our health and the factors that policy makers and practitioners should keep in mind when crafting mitigation strategies.

1500 - 1530

Refreshment Break & Networking (sponsored by Aero-Flite)

1530 - 1610

Building Community & Community Resilience Discussion

Moderator:  Shana Joy, District Operations & Regional Manager Coordinator, WA State Conservation Commission, USA


•  Laura Rivera, Environmental Justice Coordinator, Community for the Advancement of Family Education, USA

•  Edgar Franks, Campaign & Political Director, Familias Unidas por la Justicia, USA

•  Guy Gifford, Community Resilience - Assistant Divisoin Manager, WA Department of Natural Resources, USA

•  Samantha Sandoval, Grantmaking & Special Projects Director, Latino Community Foundation, USA

Frontline communities face increasing threats from wildfire and increasing costs to recover.  The panel will discuss their efforts to harden communities before flames arrive and how to help communities recover after the flames are extinguished and how we can support a just recovery for all communities.


Moderator's Closing Remarks - Glenn Farley, Retired Broadcast Journalist, USA


Conference Close

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