OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension.
As many readers are aware, Oregon State University Extension Service has implemented a new statewide fire program to help create a better understanding of fire through education and outreach efforts.
The Oregon Legislature funded the program two years ago. It is part of the OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Program and the College of Forestry.
When fully staffed, the Fire Program will have a program manager, a state fire specialist, and six regional fire specialists posted around the state. The regional specialists will work with partners to help facilitate large-scale, cross-boundary management practices.
Four regional fire specialists were hired over the summer, and came on board in the last two months. They join the team led by Carrie Berger, the Fire Program Manager, and will work closely with Dan Leavell, Statewide Extension Fire Specialist. We hope to hire two additional team members for the Oregon Coast Range and Northeast Oregon regions soon, as budgets allow.
Amanda Rau is the specialist for the Willamette Valley and Cascades fire service area, which includes much of Linn, Benton and Polk Counties.
Amanda is based in the Lane County Extension office in Eugene. She joins us from The Nature Conservancy where she worked for the past five years as the Fire Manager in both Oregon and Washington. She has robust experience in fire-adapted ecosystem restoration and conservation; prescribed fire and fuels treatment planning and implementation; and training, outreach, communications, and engagement. Amanda is a passionate and effective leader of collaborative projects and partnerships and has worked endlessly for social license for responsible management of fire for public safety and resource management. Amanda earned a Masters of Natural Resources in Fire Ecology and Management from the University of Idaho. Amanda brings great skills to our area. Welcome Amanda!
Chris Adlam is serving the Southwest fire service area, based at the Southern Oregon Research & Extension Center in Central Point.
Ariel Cowan is serving the Central fire service area, housed at the Deschutes County Extension office in Redmond.
Katherine Wollstein is serving the Southeast fire service area with an emphasis on range issues, housed at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center in Burns.
Welcome to them all! Our new Fire Program has been very active in response to the Labor Day fires of 2020, and will be working with local OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension agents and partners to help improve fire preparedness and resilience in communities across Oregon in coming months and years.