November 14, 2008

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

InterfaceSouth Recognized Nationally for Efforts to Reduce Wildfire Risk

Gainesville, FL – The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) today announced that its InterfaceSouth program received a Firewise Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding efforts in promoting a cooperative approach to reducing the loss of lives, property, and resources in the wildland/urban interface.

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s (NWCG) Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Working Team announced the winners of the Firewise Leadership Awards Nov. 7, 2008, at the National Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Education Conference, "Backyards and Beyond," in Tampa, FL.

The Firewise Leadership Awards honor individuals and organizations conducting wildland fire mitigation activities in residential developments in the wildland/urban interface. Judges select winners based on their efforts on the local, state, and regional level. The award recognized InterfaceSouth’s Annie Hermansen-Báez and Wayne Zipperer in Gainesville, FL, and Ed Macie in Atlanta, GA, for their work in developing and disseminating wildland-urban interface information for the 13 Southern states. The work is done collaboratively with the Southern Region of the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Group of State Foresters’ Southern Wildland-Urban Interface Council, and the University of Florida.

InterfaceSouth is an integrated program of Research and Development, State and Private Forestry, and technology transfer that was created to provide information, tools, and guidelines to help reduce risk from fire and other hazards associated with the wildland-urban interface. InterfaceSouth brings together natural resource professionals from diverse disciplines, agencies, and organizations to jointly approach and solve interface issues. Through these partnerships, InterfaceSouth staff members develop and distribute materials in a variety of formats, such as the InterfaceSouth Web site, fact sheets, brochures, training programs, and demonstration sites. InterfaceSouth focuses on various issues such as minimizing fire risk to property owners by evaluating the flammability characteristics of commonly planted shrubs and commonly used mulches, items that can contribute to wildfire house damage. For more information about InterfaceSouth, visit

The NWCG’s Wildland/Urban Interface Working Team is a consortium of wildland fire agencies that includes the U.S. Forest Service, Department of the Interior, Federal Emergency Management Agency, International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Emergency Management Association, U.S. Fire Administration, National Association of State Fire Marshals, National Fire Protection Association, and state forestry organizations.

News Release Contact: Stevin Westcott


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