National Extension Wildland Fire Initiative (NEWFI)
On October 17, 2018 the National Extension Wildland Fire Initiative (NEWFI) became the fourth initiative to be endorsed and approved by the ANREP Executive Committee.
Wildland fire issues are a pressing concern for ANREP members and the people they serve across the country. A combination of factors, including the exclusion of fire, drought, and more people living near natural areas, have helped create conditions that allow catastrophic wildfires to burn in diverse places. Meanwhile the need for prescribed fire is increasingly being recognized across the nation, not only to prevent these catastrophic wildfires, but to create and maintain healthy ecosystems.
Since Cooperative Extension is tasked with meeting community needs and serves as a trusted resource, Extension can and should play an active role working with landowners and communities on wildland fire issues. There is an urgent and critical need for Extension educators to be willing and able to provide research-based science findings and their meanings to a wide range of Extension audiences.
The new 2018-2022 RREA Strategic Plan also recognizes the need for Extension professionals to engage on wildland fire issues and highlights "wildfire prevention and management" as a critical issue.