DRAFT 2024 Session Schedule

** A full schedule of Speakers, Workshops and Activities to follow **



October 1-October 4, 2024 ~ Keynote Speakers

Image announcing a keynote event with speak photos

Take a tour of exemplary wildfire resilience people, programs, projects, and policies from Colorado and the Nation with your hosts Mike Zupco, Matt McCombs, and Paul Cada.

Michael Zupko is the executive director of the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC), an intergovernmental committee of federal, state, tribal and local officials convened by the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, Defense and Homeland Security dedicated to consistent implementation of wildland fire policies, goals and management activities. Prior to this position, he advised the Southern Governors’ Association on natural resource issues and served as executive director for the Southern Group of State Foresters. Mike resides with his family in Monroe, Ga., where he operates his natural resource and sportsmen’s consulting firm, Zup Co., Inc. 

Matthew McCombs, is State Forester, Colorado State Forest Service. Matt has led the Colorado State Forest Service since January of 2022. Prior to joining the CSFS, McCombs served as the U.S. Forest Service District Ranger for the 1.3-million-acre Gunnison Ranger District, part of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests. McCombs is a veteran whose career has spanned natural resources and other government experience. He has worked as the USFS District Ranger for the Appalachian Ranger District, an aide to Sens. Ken Salazar and Jon Tester, and a member of the Colorado Army National Guard and Montana Air National Guard, where he achieved the rank of captain before leaving the service in 2012.

Paul Cada 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.  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 holds a BS in Natural Resource Management from Colorado State University and is also an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist. Paul is also the current FACO Chair, leveraging the opportunities of the Fire Adapted Colorado Network, and sharing his expertise with others engaged in wildfire resilience programs.


October 1-October 4, 2024 ~ Workshops & Activities


Pre-Conference • Building Your FAC Neighborhood Ambassador Approach

Monday, September 30 – Tuesday, October 1,   2 day workshop

  • $50 (includes lunches and workshop materials)

Through a FAC Ambassador approach, practitioners can empower local residents to be catalysts for wildfire adaptation in their neighborhoods. The approach provides a structure to recruit and train volunteers, work with partners and support community events. An extensive toolkit of resources and a professional network of other volunteer coordinators is available to support workshop participants who take this workshop and follow through with developing a local system of support. 

Led by Wildfire Adapted Partnership, this workshop will guide you through designing a local approach and will share examples to inspire and and support your success in launching this proven approach. 

For more information on the FAC Ambassador approach please visit: https://fireadaptedco.org/resources/fac-naa/



Pre-Conference • Snowmass Mountain Bike Meet-up

Tuesday, October 1, 2024, starting at 3:00 pm

This will be a challenging 1-2 hour mountain bike ride on singe-track trails. Groups will self-identify by ability: beginner, intermediate, advanced. Riders must bring their own mountain bike and a helmet to participate (rentals available in Snowmass Village).  MTB Lead(s): Eric Lovgren, Patrick Kieran, Katie Jenkins.



FireForest Film Premiere 

Tuesday, October 1, 2024 – Film Starts at 7pm om the Independence Auditorium, Viewline

  • $0 (limited to 70 attendees)

Attend the premiere showing of the Fire Forest Film (16 minutes). In August of 2020, the Cameron Peak Fire was racing, uncontrollably, towards communities in northern Colorado. As it reached the footprint of a U.S. Forest Service prescribed burn and the Drala Mountain Center, a near miracle occurred. The prescribed burn, combined with forest restoration treatments at Drala, gave firefighters a foothold to halt a portion of the fire.  This short film tells the story of what happened there through the accounts of a U.S. Forest Service firefighter, the Drala Mountain Center land manager, and the Larimer Conversation District forester. Together they urge Colorado and the West to see fire and forest management as natural and essential parts of the landscape.



FACO Social (Network Participants Only)

Wednesday, October 2nd 6:00-8:00

Enjoy networking, music, awards and more. Details are still in the works, check back for updates!


Conference Social

Thursday, October 3rd 5:30-8:30

Join us for hors d’oeuvres, music, silent auction, Conference Participation Winners, Colorado Awards , and Closing Reflections.



Post-Conference • Lake Christine Fire (2018) Tour

Friday, October 4, 2024 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

  • $50 includes lunch and transportation

The tour will feature response tactics, fuels mitigation work that reduced fire behavior, and local efforts in the Wildland Urban Interface that helped prevent further structure loss. The tour will showcase previous mechanical projects and prescribed fire in the area, and how that aided in fire suppression and lessened fire behavior. All the partnerships going into current mitigation efforts and restoration of these fire-damaged areas will be highlighted.

Partners who work together on fire restoration and ongoing mitigation will host this tour, including Roaring Fork Fire, Carbondale Fire, Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management (BLM & USFS), and Eagle County Wildfire Mitigation.


Session Schedule