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Marin Coalition

Wildfire Threats & Response: Lessons from Sonoma and Planning to Prevent Disaster in Marin

The Club at McInnis Park Golf Center
350 Smith Ranch Rd.
San Rafael, California
October 3, 2018
11:00 am - 1:30 pm

Wildfire Threats & Response: Lessons from Sonoma and Planning to Prevent Disaster in Marin


Mark Brown,Deputy Chief – Marin County Fire Department
Christie Neill,Battalion Chief – Marin County Fire Department
Bob Norrbom, Jr., Battalion Chief – Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority

Marin Coalition is pleased to present an expert panel to discuss the new environment that now faces us all concerning heightened wildfire risk. The devastating rampages last year in Sonoma County and other Northern California regions scorched nearly 250,000 acres and left thousands homeless. At least 44 residents perished.

Marin County, with topography and vegetation similar to many burned areas, is no less at risk. Our October speakers will discuss the conditions that led to the terrible events in 2017, describe what Marin fire authorities are doing to help prevent such a crisis here, and give their recommendations on what we all can do to help prevent but also prepare for a possible fire emergency in our community.

Marin County Fire Department Deputy Chief Mark Brown started his career as a volunteer firefighter in 1986 in Sonoma County. He became a Firefighter/Paramedic in 1991, eventually rising to the rank of Deputy Fire Chief. His duties include commanding the Department’s emergency operations, including fire suppression, training, emergency medical services, communications, hazardous materials incidents, and other emergency responses. Mark is also an Operations Section Chief for Cal Fire and an Incident Commander of the North Bay Incident Management Team. His deployments include floods, earthquakes, public health emergencies, hurricanes, oil spills, mud slides, civil unrest, wildland fires and planned events.

Marin County Fire Department Battalion Chief Christie Neill oversees the County’s Vegetation & Fuels Management Program. In that role, she works with land owners and local agencies to identify vegetation and fuel management projects, environmental compliance requirements, grant acquisition, CAL FIRE data reporting and tracking and FIREWISE coordination. She served as President of FIRESafe Marin in 2015-2017 and continues to serve on its Board. Ms. Neill started her career as a wildland firefighter for the US Forest Service. She held many positions, including USFS Regional Fuels and Fire Use Specialist. She served as Deputy Regional Fire Management Officer for Fuels and Operations in the National Park Service and retired with over 30 years of federal service to join Marin County Fire in 2014. Ms. Neill has an A.S. degree in Forestry and Technical Fire Management Certification from Colorado State University.

Bob Norrbom, Battalion Chief for Emergency Medical Services in the Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority. A third-generation firefighter, Chief Norrbom has over 30 years’ experience in firefighting, serving the last 12 years as a shift Battalion Chief with the SVFRA. He was the official in command at the start of the Nuns Fire at Atwood Ranch last year and also commanded activities in the efforts to fight fire outbreaks in the Town of Glen Ellen, his hometown. During the massive Sonoma fires of 2017, he served as an Operations Branch Director for over 2 weeks on the incident.

Wednesday October 3, 2018; 11:15 a.m. (check-in and networking). Program and Luncheon begins promptly at noon. Meeting ends ~1:15 p.m.

Where: The Club at McInnis Park Golf Center, 350 Smith Ranch Rd., San Rafael

RSVP & Pay Online by September 30th

Cost: $29 (members); $31 (non-members); $35 if RSVP received after September 30th deadline or at the door

Cancellations: for refund must be received via email by 10 a.m. on September 30th

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Organization: Marin Coalition

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