Morning briefing, October 29, 2012

CAL FIRE Line of Duty Death

A Battalion Chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has died while on duty. Battalion Chief Rob Van Wormer, 47, who was based in Santa Clara County was working on an investigation when he suddenly lost consciousness and died, despite numerous attempt to revive him. Chief Van Wormer had worked for CAL FIRE for 24 years conducting investigations and also had a long history in the aviation program.

Ken Pimlott, Chief of CAL FIRE, released a statement.

Our sincere condolences go out to the Chief’s family and coworkers.

Man charged with felony trash burning

The Cortez Journal reports that Roger Stratton has been charged with felony fourth-degree arson for allowing his trash fire to get out of control, which started the 400-acre Roatcap Fire in Colorado’s Montezuma County. The fire started Wednesday morning and forced the evacuation of about 30 homes.

Sid Beckman named FMO for National Park Service’s Pacific West Region

(From the NPS)

Sid Beckman has been selected as the new fire management officer for Pacific West Region (map of NSP Regions), working out of the San Francisco office. He replaces Sue Husari, who recently retired after 39 years of exemplary federal service. Beckman has a strong background in fire management planning, operations and incident management. His experience in prescribed fire and wildland fire management will be an asset to the region.

Beckman has three years of experience working for the National Park Service. He has been the deputy regional fire management officer overseeing the region’s fuels management program since 2009. He previously served as a fire management specialist in the U.S. Forest Service Enterprise Program. He has also worked as a battalion chief with the Stanislaus National Forest and has had a variety of other fire management positions, including fuels management specialist, hotshot, and fire engine operator on the Angeles and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests.

“I am honored to work with the dedicated fire management staffs in the national parks of the Pacific West Region, and look forward in assisting them in their continued success managing prescribed and wildland fire,” Beckman commented upon hearing of his selection.

Beckman lives with his wife in the Sierra Nevada town of Arnold, California, and will be residing in the Bay Area during the week. When in the mountains, he enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing. A lifelong Detroit Tigers fan, Beckman also noted that “the Tigers have won 10 World Series — four more than the San Francisco Giants!”

Currently the acting FMO, Beckman will formally begin his new assignment in November.

Response by the land management agencies and firefighters to the effects of Hurricane Sandy

On Monday we will put together some information about how the land management agencies and firefighters are responding to prepare for and help the east coast recover from the impacts of Hurricane Sandy. If you have information about firefighters and incident management teams that are responding, let us know in a comment below, or visit our Contact Us page to give us a call (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. MT) or send us a message.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+