Vail Hosts fire departments from around the country to learn, share ideas
Fire departments convened to discuss wildland-urban interface issues in their communities
Personnel from six fire departments across the country have been in Vail this month as part of an official exchange program hosted by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Fire departments from Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Nevada convened to discuss wildland-urban interface issues in their communities.
The peer-to-peer exchange allows participants to share successes and challenges within their home communities while building strong professional networks for the ongoing exchange of information.
Paul Cada, wildland program manager for Vail Fire and Emergency Services, helped facilitate the discussions and is a past participant of the exchange. He says his experience with the program has been one of the most valuable training experiences of his career.
“Each community has unique characteristics and risks, but many challenges of wildfire are universal across all communities,” Cada said.
Cada credits many of the wildfire programs currently being implemented in Vail to the information that was gained through the international program.
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While in Vail, participants have been engaged in facilitated discussion as well as a field tour of the 2018 Buffalo Mountain fire in Silverthorne. The Buffalo Mountain fire exemplifies how proactive work by a community before a wildfire occurs can save lives and homes. Participants discussed a variety of topics including collaboration and partnerships, educational outreach, planning and codes, fuels mitigation and wildfire response.
Vail Fire Chief Mark Novak opened the exchange by welcoming participants to Vail and discussing some of the proactive work happening in Vail. Chief Novak has built a successful career around guiding communities toward better outcomes from wildfire in both Vail and the Lake Tahoe Basin. He has witnessed firsthand the destruction wildfire can bring on a community and how proactive work by the community can significantly reduce wildfires impact.
Vail community celebrates life of Nick Courtens, a talented horticulturist and dependable friend, at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
A celebration of life for Vail local Nick Courtens took place on Friday in the same location where Courtens arranged a memorial for his friend Spencer Cooke eight years earlier. Courtens, 34, died in a …