During the week of May 19 2014, the two largest professional associations in wildland fire science, the Association for Fire Ecology (AFE) and the International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF), cooperatively held a highly successful conference on large wildland fires at the University of Montana in Missoula. The conference “Large Wildland Fires: Social, Political, and Ecological Effects,” was attended by over 650 people from all over the world, making it one of the largest conferences ever held on wildland fire. The conference’s 15 sponsors, 12 exhibitors, 6 donors, and its participants came from over 18 countries and 6 continents. The diverse program included 15 workshops, 10 field trips, 11 special sessions, 269 presentations, 103 posters, an art show, and a film festival.
Many RMRS scientists and professionals played major roles in the Conference’s organization and programming. Research Ecologists Bob Keane and Russ Parsons, Biological Scientist Pam Sikkink, Deputy Program Manager Kris Lee, and Fire Analyst Karin Riley, Missoula, were on the Program committee and were responsible for the organization of presentations, posters, field trips, and attached meetings. Research Forester Matt Thompson, Missoula, was a featured panelist. Nine RMRS scientists taught at the workshops, eight assisted with the field trips, including several retirees, 11 presented posters, and 25 gave oral presentations. The Large Wildland Fire Conference was a great success due to the effort and involvement of RMRS.