The Pacific Fire Exchange (PFX) was formed to meet the needs of scientists and managers for a collaborative and regionally relevant approach toward effective fire prevention and management, and to stimulate and utilize “best available” research to reduce fire management costs and enhance our ability to effectively protect natural, social, and cultural resources from wildfire devastation.
In Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific, developed areas often abut wildland and agricultural areas, which increase the probability of wildfire impacts on communities (poor air quality, power/phone line damage, post-burn erosion/ land slides/ dust, and fire spread along wildland-urban interface [WUI] boundaries and through adjacent neighborhoods).
The PFX will provide information, training, and tools for region-specific wildfire mitigation activities that can take place along WUI boundaries, and will focus on addressing the following issues and end-users:
• Fire Suppression
(Local, State, County, Federal, Private)
• Air Quality
• Water Quality
• Emergency Response
• Planning/ Development
• Political Leadership/ Legislation
Need for A Consortium in the Pacific
In January 2011, a planning grant was awarded to the Pacific Region from the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP). Currently, HWMO is collaborating with multiple partners in applying to become part of the JFSP Knowledge Exchange Consortia.
The collaborators on the planning grant used the award to establish the Pacific Fire Exchange (PFX), which has supported diverse planning activities. Following meetings and the release of the PFX’s 1st newsletter in April 2011, the PFX created and released across the region through existing agency networks a comprehensive needs assessment in the form of a web-based survey . The assessment team included USFS research scientists, Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO) social scientists and fire managers, and program managers with the Pacific Disaster Center and the DOD. The survey targeted potential end-users to better understand how to address four specific “major challenges” which had been identified by fire managers and scientists across the region.
The four primary challenges include:
1) Easier Access to information Sources
2) Better and More Comprehensive Information
3) Improved Technical Assistance
4) More Collaborative Information Transfer Environment
The Pacific region is currently underrepresented in up to date, organized, and regionally- specific fire science information. There is a tremendous need for enhanced collaboration and communication within the Pacific’s scientific and resource management communities to bridge the differences between geographic locations (insular states, territories, and nations) as well as in ecology, culture, and language.
The consortium will focus on increasing communication, coordination & collection of information, and technology transfer by creating a central repository for storing and disseminating information.
We anticipate the following types of information to be made available:
• Research results
• Upcoming events and conferences
• Printed materials
• Opportunities for wildfire suppression and mitigation training
• A forum for managers and scientists to engage in discussion
Consortium Activities and Outputs
Consortium Documents, Brochures, and Newsletters
Between May and July 2011, the PFSC conducted focus groups, regional meetings, and a gap analysis survey to identify needs and priorities of a diversity of stakeholder groups dealing with wildfire issues in Hawaii and the U.S. affiliated Pacific region. Collectively, these activities have provided the PFSC with the breadth of expertise and jurisdictions needed to bridge the diverse geographic, cultural, political, and scientific needs of the Pacific Region, and to address the four major challenges.
Consortium Accomplishments to Date
- Launch PFSC Website, with links to available to quality wildfire resources
- Fund, create and fill University of Hawaii Extension Specialist Position
- Develop a Web based calendar of PFSC
- Facilitate the development of a preliminary framework for decision-support tools with and for communities of practice in Hawaii
- Organize PFSC events, workshops, and symposia to highlight PFSC goals and coordinate fire management resources.
- Establish a PFSC Working Group, which has been meeting biweekly for 3 months
- Enhance the region's bibliographic capacity via a documents clearing house on the Website.
- Secure matching funding from UHM-CTAHR to support a Wildland Fire Specialist for two years
- Created advertised and filled the Wildland Fire Extension Specialist position; establishing a strong collaboration with University of Hawaii's CTAHR
About the PFX and Partners
Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization
Wildland Fire Specialist
University of Hawaii
U.S. Forest Service
Pacific Fire Exchange Contacts
Page Last Updated On: May 6, 2013
Vision: Reduced threat to ecosystems and communities in the Pacific from wildfire.
Mission: Facilitate fire knowledge exchange and enable collaborative relationships among Pacific stakeholders including resource managers, fire responders, researchers, landowners, and communities.