Napolitano and Vilsack visit NIFC

National Interagency Fire Center

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Secretary of the Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise on Tuesday for a western fire season update.

Photo (left to right): John Glenn (BLM), Ernest Mitchell (US Fire Administrator), Dan Smith (NASF), Secretary Napolitano (DHS), Bill Kaage (NPS), John Segar (FWS), Tory Henderson (USFS), Secretary Vilsack (USDA), Tim Murphy (BLM). Photo courtesy of NIFC.

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About Bill Gabbert

Wildland fire has been a major part of Bill Gabbert’s life for several decades. After growing up in the south, he migrated to southern California where he lived for 20 years, working as a wildland firefighter. Later he took his affinity for firefighting to Indiana and eventually the Black Hills of South Dakota where he was the Fire Management Officer for a group of seven national parks. Today he is the creator and owner of and Sagacity Wildfire Services and serves as an expert witness in wildland fire. If you are interested in wildland fire, welcome… grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up. Google+

7 thoughts on “Napolitano and Vilsack visit NIFC

  1. Conspicuously absent… Tom Tidwell (Chief of the Forest Service) and Tom Harbour (Forest Service Nat’l Fire Director).

    Anyone who knows FS politics can see that something is awry….

    For them not to be part of the “headline” says that something is going on… No “Line Officer” and No “Fire Director” saying “Everything is OK”.

  2. Read the Tea Leaves. The DHS plan to absorb Wildland Firefighting is already in motion. DoA and USFS will celebrate the divorce. DoI will inherit the dysfunctional factions and be tasked to construct an airplane in flight… can be done. DHS has deep pockets and their checkbook will solve many problems…and the most fundamental problem that has plagued Fire & Aviation for the past decade… ‘abysmal leadership at the Washington Office level” …will be wiped away and wildland firelighting will have what it has been void of for over a decade…. Leadership. DHS will own wildland firefighting..soon….take that to the bank.

    • So you believe that the same folks that have brought us the lame airport security system are going to run the fire program better than land management agencies? As a former land management agency line officer, I couldn’t disagree with you more. They may have deeper pockets, but money isn’t everything.

  3. Maybe then DHS will look at “other” SME’s such as FAA types and others to run the airtanker program.

    IF indeed the ball is rolling on this one……then the ESF #4 portion of the NRF can be better paid attention to.

    Can’t be an airtanker program, LMA, ICS, wanna be structure program with limited training, and surely the issues of personnel extrication the last 10 years, indicates that the USFS tries to “master” too many things.

    Jack of all trades, master of none, well most of us are that already. The only thing, the USFS has made even a mockery of that addage!!

    BUT we will see how DHS absorbs this one……there SURE will be some bellyachin’ when this goes thru.

    Maybe even the 310-1 will be better organized and will reflect TRUE aviation training such as elimination of DIVS to be an ATGS. Rumor had it two years ago, in SCRATCHLINE, that there were plenty o ATGS’s that did not like cramped spaces. Good! Make room for some new trainees that have SA, out here in the non fire and professional aviation world that may not require an age 37–57 cutoff for retirements. But you can be sure there will be “protection” of that 310-1 that the hardliners will protect to the death to enter the halls of DHS, so they can get the prime gigs!!

    So yes…..let it rip and get better organized under a TRUE all risk / all hazard operations. Then maybe consolidate EVERY LMA GACC out there to reduce costs and bring it under ONE National Operations Center (NOC)!!

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