Beth Lund, Incident Commander on the Beaver Creek Fire

Beth Lund, Incident Commander
Beth Lund, Incident Commander. Incident Management Team photo.

Beth Lund is one of two female Incident Commanders on Type 1 Incident Management Teams, the largest and most capable teams that run large incidents. Jeanne Pincha-Tulley is the other.

Ms. Lund’s Type 1 Team has been managing the Beaver Creek Fire near Ketchum, Idaho which is one of the fires getting a lot of national media attention due to the number of acres burned, 111,000, and the movie stars homes that have been threatened by the fire. The Idaho Mountain Express has an article about her. Here is an excerpt:

In the modern world of firefighting, mavericks are discouraged, a strong and flexible mind excels and only quiet competence is rewarded.

It’s in this world that a 58-year-old woman, who is halfheartedly eyeing a retirement in which she will learn to quilt, has risen to become the face of fire news at its best and worst.

She is one of only two women in the already tiny national cadre of 16 U.S. Forest Service Type I incident commanders—the people who try to tame the most complicated wildland fires.

“My policy is to tell what I know and to tell the truth while being mindful that we don’t want people to hear it from the news first,” says Beaver Creek Fire Incident Command Leader Beth Lund.

She’s been the calm center in a relentless stream of media and public inquiry since arriving nearly two weeks ago to manage and expand the efforts to repel the fire that threatened the length of the Wood River Valley.

Even in the diciest moments as she bounces from gathering recon to live TV on demand, to fielding questions from strangers, with nearly every step she takes, she remains unflustered—even when she delivers unsavory news.

Traci Weaver and Beth Lund
Traci Weaver and Beth Lund accept a card from the Wood River community. Incident Management Team photo.
Burnout operation on the Beaver Creek Fire
Burnout operation on the Beaver Creek Fire. Incident Management Team photo.


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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.

4 thoughts on “Beth Lund, Incident Commander on the Beaver Creek Fire”

  1. I think this is awesome and she is such an inspiration. I am disappointed, though, that they have to still put her back into a “feminine” role by mentioning quilting…. Especially since she doesn’t even do it!! You don’t see reporters interviewing male ICs and talking about their love of rebuilding hot rods. Anyways, just a pet peeve of mine. Glad to see the focus on her competence and skills, and thank her for paving the way for the rest of us.

  2. I lived in the Big Wood River Valley and know how beautiful it is. Skiing, hiking and fishing are only a few of the daily pleasures that are part of life in the in the valley. I still have friends who live there and I thank Ms. Lund and the numerous fire-fighters who have saved their lives and homes from being consumed by ” Mother Nature “. Lighting, rain and snow are all part of the cycle of nature that bring both pleasure & pain. I pray for all of the them and hope they will be kept safe. God bless you all.


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