We gratefully acknowledge the leadership provided by FAO in setting a high priority on the collection and reporting of wildfire data and the wildfire situation for Member countries. This is the first time that such an in-depth fire analysis has accompanied FAO's 10-year Forest Resource Assessment. Such fire information is essential in developing strategies to better protect the world's forest resources from the ravages of wildfires. FAO's initiation of a comprehensive process that accounts for the effects of fires on wildlands will return valuable dividends for years to come as additional countries contribute to the database. Also, this benchmark effort will further improve communications among countries regarding the diverse nature of wildfire problems; and help to strengthen international cooperation.
The direction, knowledge and guidance provided by Gillian Allard have been instrumental in reviewing and understanding the current state of fire data reporting. She provided an excellent perspective regarding information requirements that helped immeasurably in collecting country fire data for the Forest Resource Assessment 2000 (FRA 2000). We sincerely thank her for a job well done.
In addition, Robert Davis, Peter Holmgren and Magnus Grylle graciously provided valuable insights into the purpose and data structure of the FRA 2000 process. They encouraged the development of a fire data reporting form that would standardize the collection of important information from Member countries. They also ensured that country fire information would be displayed on an FAO webpage, so that many audiences could easily share country fire profiles.
Graciela Andrade-Cianfrini at FAO was especially helpful in answering questions and assisting with many aspects of report development. Her friendly support is greatly appreciated.
We owe a special debt of gratitude to the many country authors and correspondents who answered the call to help on this project with enthusiasm and dedication. This global assessment of forest fires is more thorough and complete than it might have been due to their diligence in documenting the fire situation within their respective countries. We cannot begin to thank them enough for their many excellent contributions.
Much of the fire information used in this report is from the ECE/FAO International Forest Fire News (IFFN) which is published on behalf of the UN-ECE Trade Division, Timber Section, Geneva. It is available on the Website of the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC). The enthusiastic work of the GFMC staff in continuously updating global wildland fire data and maintaining contacts with correspondents all over the world is gratefully acknowledged. Many of the country reports will appear in issues of the International Forest Fire News.
We would like to thank Jim Space, an FAO Consultant, who edited many of the country reports in a thorough and careful manner. His timely assistance allowed us to maintain our production schedule for the overall report. Also, Dennis Simmerman, Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, Montana, was especially helpful in providing graphics and illustrations.
Finally, a very special thank you is extended to artist Monte Dolack from Missoula, Montana, for granting permission to use his artwork "Northern Rockies Fires of 2000" on the cover of the report. The Monte Dolack Gallery (www.dolack.com) was commissioned by the Northern Rockies Coordinating Group to produce this poster dedicated to all those involved in fighting the fires of 2000. Thirty thousand copies of the poster were distributed to firefighters who worked in the Northern Rockies of the western U.S. during the 2000 fire season as a token of appreciation.