Community Mitigation Assistance Team

The CMAT program is pursuing the capacity to field a minimum of four/five teams in 2022. The program is actively recruiting members and asks the participating agencies to help direct qualified people to this opportunity. A training session will be held MAY 19-20 virtually 

Persons seeking assignment to achieve qualification can expect challenging and rewarding work that utilizes the skills they have developed in their public service careers that results in saving lives and protecting property. 

Team configurations range from 4 to 10 people depending on community need and team training opportunities. Assignments are usually 7-14 days with 12-14 hour work shifts. Team members are ordered through IROC following interagency incident business management practices and are paid based on IROC status (agency employee, AD, or cooperator/partnership agreement), and reimbursed for travel and per diem when providing support in-person. CMAT will order virtual resources as the assignment dictates. Those interested in becoming a team member are encouraged to apply at https://www.fs.usda.gov/sites/default/files/2022-02/CMAT-Application.pdf

  • Selection of nominees is based on experience, ability to participate in assignments & completion of prerequisites, answers to the application questions, and when the completed application is received. Class size will be limited to 30. 
  • To participate in CMAT you must also complete the Community Wildfire – Mitigation Best Practices training 1-week Comprehensive or Virtual Course. For more information on the CW-MBP, please visit https://co-co.org/programs/community-wildfire-mitigation-best-practices-training/

We are excited to announce two new positions being added to the 2022 Federal Wildland Fire Qualifications Supplement that CMAT will support. While currently only endorsed by the USFS, we urge your agency to consider endorsing the new and critically important positions.

  • The Wildfire Mitigation Specialists Team Lead
  • The Wildfire Mitigation Specialists Team Member

To access the Supplemental Please visit https://iqcsweb.nwcg.gov/sites/default/files/documents/FedSupplement_2022.pdf  (PG 147 & 148)

What is CMAT?

The Community Mitigation Assistance Team (CMAT) program grew from a desire to change the status quo and make a difference in places affected by fire. The team, for which Jonathan Bruno acts as team lead, perfectly complemented his desire to make a larger impact. All of the experiences that Jonathan has gained through the creation of the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) forestry program are embedded within the CMAT concept. CMAT harnessed the breadth of knowledge within a multidisciplinary team of mitigation professionals to embed themselves within a community, listen, learn, and guide positive action.

CMAT assesses the local conditions, reviews the barriers, and dives in feet first. We review what works and what does not. The team helps the local community make the necessary connections it needs to succeed and leaves it with the tools it needs to move forward. Like Coalitions and Collaboratives, Inc. (COCO), CMAT does not do the work for a community; instead, we facilitate the positive actions.

What A CMAT Provides

  • CMAT works closely with Incident Management Teams, the Forest Service or other land management agencies and community residents and leaders to identify mitigation opportunities before a fire impacts the community.
  • CMAT works with local partners to identify and help them resolve mitigation challenges and build long-term mitigation efforts using best practices.
  • The team uses SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, one-on-one interviews, mentoring, best community risk reduction practices, mini-workshops, Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs), risk and fire occurrence maps, home assessments, pertinent research, demographics, their experience, and close community collaboration to help communities move mitigation forward.
  • Every assignment is different and dictated by individual community needs.

When Can CMAT Help?

  • The community is at medium to high risk of wildfire and has an identified mitigation challenge.
  • There is an existing wildfire mitigation organization/coalition including local, state, and federal land management partners.
  • Pertinent local, state, and federal partners have the capacity and desire to work closely with the team during the assignment and to implement resulting recommendations including follow-up reporting of accomplishments.
  • Scope of the project should provide a good return on investment (long and short term) to justify cost to deploy a team.
  • The ordering authority must provide a working location, internet access, and support for the CMAT during deployment.

Ordering a CMAT

Any community that meets the conditions described above may request a CMAT through the local National Forest, Incident Command Team, or other federal land manager. Requests are vetted by the National CMAT Lead based on enabling conditions, need and likelihood of success.

To order a CMAT, please coordinate with your partners to complete this request form. Upon completion, please submit to the National CMAT Lead, Jonathan Bruno and Forest Service CMAT Coordinator, Sheryl Page.

Want to be a CMAT Member?

  • Team members are highly proficient wildland urban interface mitigation specialists with extensive experience in community mitigation best practices and skills in analytical thinking, problem solving, wildfire behavior, collaboration, communication, and teamwork. Must be familiar with incident command.
  • Assignments are usually 7-14 days/12-14 hour days; laptops, cell phones, and personal credit cards are required (expenses are reimbursed).
  • Team members are ordered through ROSS following interagency incident business management practices and are paid based on ROSS status (agency employee, AD, or cooperator/partnership agreement) and reimbursed for travel and per diem per policy.
  • Team members report to the team lead who functions as the liaison with the local Forest and community.

CMAT Assignments

Grand County, Colorado (2021): Grand County Turns Troublesome into Triumph

Lake County, California (2021): Lake County – Aligning to Action, Healing the Land, Healing the People

Greater Santa Fe, New Mexico (2021): Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition: A Path Forward

Teller County, Colorado (2020): Teller County Wildfire Council

Alpine, Wyoming (2019): CMAT Report Alpine Area

Dollar Ridge Fire (2018): Crossing Boundaries for Collaboration

Spring Creek Fire (2018):  Mitigating Mountains

Montana Wildfires (2018): Missoula County

Pisgah National Forest (2017): New Insights, New Partners

Chetco Bar (2017): Ideas to Action 

Bridger Teton National Forest (2016): Moving Mitigation Forward: Opportunities for TAWPC

Pike San Isabel National Forest (2016):  A Blueprint for Mitigation

The Chelan Complex – Leavenworth (2015):  Executive Summary

Additional Resources