Shawna Legarza has been selected as the national Director of Fire and Aviation for the US Forest Service. She will replace Tom Harbour who retired at the end of 2015. Currently Ms. Legarza is the regional Fire Director for the Forest Service’s California region. She will start in the position on July 4.
Ms. Legarza launched her federal career with the Bureau of Land Management in 1989 as an engine crew member in Elko, NV. A short time later, she joined the Forest Service and worked as a hotshot crew member in Carson City, NV, and a Hotshot Superintendent in Durango, CO. She subsequently took on a number of leadership positions in fire and aviation that include District Fire Management Officer on the San Juan National Forest, CO, and Forest Fire Management Officer on the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California.
Ms. Legarza earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Kinesiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and Doctorate of Psychology at the University of the Rockies, Colorado Springs, CO.
She will be replaced in California Region 5 by Acting Fire & Aviation Director Patty Grantham, Forest Supervisor of the Klamath National Forest. Ms. Grantham works closely on the national line officer team for fire and has received awards for her fire leadership in building community partnerships and in restoring fire-adapted landscapes. She has worked on six national forests across the West and holds a bachelor’s degree in Forest Science from the University of Washington.