Speaker Profile


Norm Rosene
United States
Public Information Officer
North Valley Animal Disaster Group
Animal Rescue and Sheltering Management during Multi-Week Wildfire Responses in California

The duration of fire seasons, and the intensity of fire events seem to be increasing worldwide. Over four million acres (1,618,743 hectares) of land was consumed by wildfires in California during the 2020 fire season, the highest total in history. Thirty-two people died in the fires, along with countless wild and domestic animals. The North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG), a regional volunteer NGO, responded to multiple fires in 2020, including the North Complex West Fire in Butte County. NVADG also responded to the horrific Camp Fire in 2018, which claimed 86 lives and destroyed the town of Paradise, California. Working within the disaster Incident Command System, and in cooperation with the local government animal control agency, NVADG managed the animal rescue and evacuation component for the fires which included setting up emergency animal shelters, and providing and managing field rescue teams. This presentation reviews the organizational aspects of large scale, multi-week disaster management, as well as the constantly evolving training regimen necessary to prepare animal disaster workers for safe and timely deployment.


Dr. Norm Rosene is a practicing dentist who currently serves as the vice-president of the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG). He is a swift water and technical rope rescue technician, and has provided technical rescue training for animal disaster workers nationally and internationally for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and Four Paws. Dr. Rosene has provided training or responded to disasters in 10 countries. During recent fires in Northern California, Dr. Rosene has served as the Animal Group Liaison, Evacuation Team Lead, and Animal Group Public Information Officer.

Dr. Rosene attended UC Davis, obtaining his B.S. in Zoology, and M.S. in Physiology. He then attended the UC San Francisco School of Dentistry where he received his D.D.S. degree. He has been married to his wife, Janice, for 39 years, and they live with their two dogs in Chico, California.