For The Journal
FireWise of Southwest Colorado has announced that Rebecca Samulski, assistant director of FireWise, and Jim Tencza, Neighborhood Ambassador for Timberdale Ranch in La Plata County, are recipients of national Wildfire Mitigation Awards.
Established in 2014, the awards are the highest commendation for the innovation and leadership displayed by individuals and organizations committed to wildfire preparedness and mitigation.
“These outstanding individuals are truly embracing the concept of creating fire adapted communities,” said Pam Wilson, executive director for FireWise of Southwest Colorado.
In 2015, Samulski started the Dolores Watershed and Resilient Forest collaborative in Montezuma County to reduce the risk of wildfires impacting McPhee Reservoir. Tencza has shown strong leadership in his community by promoting development of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, coordinating defensible space projects over the past four years and instigating the first cross-boundary treatment onto private lands that adjoin Timberdale Ranch.
Of the 14 national award winners, three were from Colorado and two from Southwest Colorado. Awards will be presented at the IAFC Wildland-Urban Interface Conference in Reno, Nevada, on March 22, and FireWise of Southwest Colorado will honor the local recipients at their March meeting.
wildfire mitigation awards are jointly sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fire Protection Association, and the U.S. Forest Service.