Bill Kaage to be chief of fire for National Park Service

Bill KaageBill Kaage has been named chief of the National Park Service Division of Fire and Aviation Management. He succeeds Tom Nichols, who retired on January 31, 2014.

As the Chief, Kaage is responsible for the overall leadership, policy and program direction for the aviation, structural fire, and wildland fire management programs for the National Park Service. He will administer a budget that exceeds $90 million in fire and aviation funding for the Service. “I look forward to representing the National Park Service in my new role. We have a great team of passionate professionals who care deeply about the mission, what we do, and those we serve.”

Since April 2009, Kaage has served as the Branch Chief of Wildland Fire, one of the six branches within the division he now leads. As Branch Chief, Bill led development of the updated Wildland Fire Strategic Plan, revision of the National Park Service Wildland Fire Reference Manual 18, and was instrumental in workforce realignment due to reduced wildland fire funding levels. In the interagency arena, Bill represented the National Park Service on several national groups including the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, National Multi-agency Coordinating Group, and Wildland Fire Executive Council.

From 2005-2009, Bill served as the Deputy Regional Fire Management Officer for Operations in the Pacific West Region of the NPS. Prior to this position, he spent nine years as the fire management officer for Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in California. During his tenure, Kaage focused on building an integrated fire and fuels management program based on resource objectives, park goals and teamwork.

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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.

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