Porfirio Chavarria, Wildland Urban Interface Specialist – City of Santa Fe Fire Department, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Porfirio began his wildland firefighting career on a hand crew in 1998 working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 2001, he transitioned to Santa Clara Pueblo tribal forestry program as a forestry technician. The tribe was recovering from the 2000 Cerro Grande fire which burned over 200 homes in Los Alamos and 8,000 acres on tribal land. Porfirio joined the City of Santa Fe Fire Department in 2005, implementing fuels reduction projects, wildfire assessment rankings, and a wildfire mitigation program. During the 2010 fire season Porfirio formed the Atalaya Hand Crew that has grown into a fully funded wildland fire division within the Fire Department. Porfirio is currently involved with the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network, New Mexico FAC Leaders Network, and the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition to create fire adapted communities in Santa Fe.
Paul Cada, Wildland Program Administrator, Vail Fire and Emergency Services – Town of Vail, Colorado
Paul is the Wildland Program Manager for Vail Fire and Emergency Services. In this role he is responsible for the department and Town’s preparedness and response to wildland fires. Paul works closely with Town staff, community partners and cooperating agencies to build a more fire adapted community in the popular resort town. Prior to joining Vail Fire Paul held the position of Assistant District Forester for the Colorado State Forest Service, Granby District where he worked on many projects to measurably reduce wildfire risks to mountain communities in Grand, Summit and Eagle Counties as well as create more healthy and resilient forests. Paul has been a wildland firefighter for 15 years and has fought fires in nearly every western state including many of the large nationally recognized fires in Colorado. Paul holds a BS in Natural Resource Management from Colorado State University and is also an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist. In addition to his work in Vail, he is an active Executive Board Member of Fire Adapted Colorado (FACO), a non-profit organization dedicated to building a strong network of wildfire practitioners throughout Colorado.
Chris Rea, Wildfire Mitigation Specialist, Travis County Emergency Services District #6, Lake Travis Fire Rescue, TX
As a Wildfire Mitigation Specialist, Chris’ main focus is public education and outreach to help residents in the fire district prepare for the worst in regard to wildfire. He enjoys working with homeowners to identify wildfire-related vulnerabilities to homes, to find cost effective retrofit solutions to prevent home ignition, and to help create defensible space zones around homes. Chris previously worked with the Boulder County Land Use Department, in Colorado, where he served as a Wildfire Mitigation Specialist. Chris has also worked as a Forest Technician for the U.S. Forest Service in southern Arkansas; as a Service Forester for the North Carolina Forest Service; and as an Assistant District Forester for the Wyoming State Forestry Division.