Although the fatal and destructive wildfires in California captured headlines last year, there were likely communities throughout the U.S. that remained untouched by wildfires because of the mitigation efforts of individuals and groups.

Those efforts – which the public is rarely aware of – were honored recently by a partnership consisting of the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the USDA Forest Service (USFS).

"State forestry agencies know firsthand that it's always wildfire season somewhere in the United States," said Lisa Allen, NASF president and Missouri state forester. "The 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Awardees know this too. Year-round, they contribute to wildfire mitigation efforts that ensure the safety of thousands of communities nationwide.

The 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Awards winners were so named because of their outstanding dedication to solving many of the most complex challenges posed by wildfire.

They are:

  • Byron Bonney (Bitter Root Resource Conservation and Development Area) (Hamilton, Montana)
  • City of Pigeon Forge (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)
  • Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership (Flagstaff, Arizona)
  • Pat Dwyer (Logtown Fire Safe Council and El Dorado County Fire Safe Council) (Logtown, California)
  • Paulette Church (Durango, Colorado)
  • Rocky Infanger (Tri-County FireSafe Working Group/Wolf Creek Volunteer Fire Department) (Helena, Montana)
  • Sunset View Estates (Bend, Oregon)

"Wildland fire is more destructive, costly and deadly than ever before," said Chief Dan Eggleston, IAFC president and chairman of the Board of Directors. "I'm proud to congratulate this year's National Wildfire Mitigation Award winners for their outstanding leadership and contributions to wildland fire risk reduction in their communities."

"The Wildfire Mitigation Awards honor exemplary achievements and demonstrate the possibilities of what can be accomplished. The National Fire Protection Association is proud to be a part of recognizing these outstanding recipients," said Michele Steinberg, director of NFPA’s Wildfire Division.

The 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Awards will be presented at the Wildland-Urban Interface Conference in Reno, Nevada, on March 27. For more information, visit