A student of fire helps launch the Gabbert Fellowship

The IAWF establishment of the Bill Gabbert Fellowship in Wildfire Reporting was initiated by a generous donation from  Mark C. Sedenquist, a long-time supporter of WildfireToday, good friend of Bill Gabbert, and a 50-year student of fire.

Sedenquist worked on the Angeles National Forest in 1973-1974 on Engine 314, and on the Coronado National Forest in 1976 as Silver Peak Lookout.

“Over the last five decades, I’ve become a student of wildland fire,” he told us. “I have many friends in the community — some still serving on incident management teams, others retired.  And just to provide perspective, my home and business burned in the 1993 Altadena Fire in southern California.”

Bill Gabbert, Canada Icefields Parkway
Bill Gabbert on a road trip,
Canada Icefields Parkway

Sedenquist had a long series of email conversations with Bill, and he still serves as a fire reference and resource to others. “Even though I now live in Las Vegas, Nevada, friends and family in California still call me first when they spot smoke in the local hills and want to know what they are looking at. And thanks to the wonder of digital scanners and optical devices, I can usually provide real-time information faster than the local media are providing about their local fires.”

When the Gabbert Fellowship launches its first reporting projects, we’ll be the first to thank Mark Sedenquist, who demonstrates the value of being a student of fire — a concept Bill Gabbert often revisited.

We ask you to join with Mark Sedenquist and others to add your support to the Fellowship fund.

As we solicit donations to help fund the Fellowship, we will also ask for your ideas for what the Fellowship will become — and we’re interested in our readers’ and advertisers’ ideas about its management.

For more on Bill Gabbert’s work, check out these reflections by Chuck Bushey and  Wade Ward.