In 1997, when the California Association for Fire Ecology (CAFE) was formed, the science of fire ecology had evolved sufficiently to be considered an academic discipline and to warrant a professional organization. The Association began by sponsoring three annual regional fire ecology conferences in California and then the first international fire ecology congress in 2000. In 2001, the Association for Fire Ecology (AFE) was established to expand CAFE’s scope nationally and internationally. Today, there are over 500 active members, five sections, and 28 student chapters. AFE continues to sponsor annual regional conferences and the international congress every three years. In 2005, the association published the first issue of Fire Ecology. Currently, 33 issues contain articles by over 650 authors. In addition, the Association edited the first edition of Fire in California’s Ecosystems and contributed an extensive appendix on fire regime characteristics for the 2nd edition of the Manual of California Vegetation. Certification of professional fire ecologists was initiated in 2011, and over 100 individuals have been certified. Certification of academic fire ecology programs began in 2013, and nine programs have been certified. After 20 years, AFE has become a respected professional society representing fire ecologists world-wide.
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