Wildland Fire: Fire Career Stories

Media Included

  1. Brit Rosso: Be True to Your Core Beliefs - Brit Rosso, center manager for Wildland Fire Lessons Learned, discusses resources young firefighters can use to further develop their careers.
  2. Ben Jacobs: An Outlaw and a Hero - Ben Jacobs discusses the importance of working with and learning from the right people.
  3. Ben Jacobs: I can't believe how lucky I am to work here - Ben describes the importance of mentors throughout his career, lessons he's learned, and how he's learned to make the most bad situations.
  4. Jun Kinoshita: Ask for the Opportunities - Jun describes his experiences and the people who mentored him through his career.

National Park Service wildland fire management staff strive to implement programs using the best information and knowledge. Knowledge is acquired and passed along not only through rigorous scientific studies but also through sharing firsthand experiences among fire professionals.

Sherry Leis: Women in Fire Science

Sherry is the Heartland Inventory and Monitoring Network’s plant and fire ecologist. In her work, she tries to blend the understanding of plant communities with the effects of fire to provide managers with information with which to make sound decisions, often taking an interdisciplinary approach to the work. Her biggest piece of advice - "things work best when you are simply yourself."

Ellen Frondorf: Women in Fire Science

NPS and graduate work are great for learning new skills. As a beginning fire effects monitor, Ellen barely knew how to use a handheld GPS or compass. Now, she loves navigating to plots in the backcountry. Her GIS skills have massively increased, she's gained firefighter type 2 certification, and has been exposed to numerous monitoring protocols from working not only with NPS, but with trainings with the Nature Conservancy, and others. Her newest endeavor is learning how to make burn severity maps.

Carol Miller: Wilderness Fire Scientist

Carol Miller is a Research Ecologist at the interagency Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute in Missoula, MT. The Institute is comprised of an interdisciplinary team of scientists that lead and coordinate high priority research projects for the National Wilderness Preservation System agencies, which include the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and US Forest Service. Miller’s research work focuses on wilderness fire; “I am interested in developing a better understanding of the role of wildland fire as a natural ecosystem process and applying that knowledge to help guide the stewardship of this process in wilderness,” says Miller.

Brit Rosso: Be True to Your Core Beliefs

Brit Rosso, center manager for Wildland Fire Lessons Learned, discusses his career experiences and the lessons he has learned in nearly 30 years in the business. Brit talks about learning from mentors, being a mentor, and resources young firefighters can use to further develop their careers. Published August 7, 2012.

Ben Jacobs: An Outlaw and a Hero

Ben Jacobs discusses the importance of working with and learning from the right people, what sort of person might like a career in wildland fire, and what sort of skills it takes to make it a successful career. Published November 2, 2012.

Ben Jacobs: I can't believe how lucky I am to work here

Ben Jacobs discusses the importance of gaining both operational and administrative skills. To advance and make a career in wildland fire, young firefighters should receive an education and learn how to write. Ben describes the importance of mentors throughout his career, lessons he's learned in his relationships with people over the years, and how he's learned to make the most of mistakes and bad situations. Lastly, Ben talks about how working for the National Park Service has benefitted him. Published November 2, 2012.

Jun Kinoshita: Ask for the Opportunities

Jun describes his experiences and the people who mentored him through his career. In his unusual career, Jun has served as a fire ecologist at Yosemite National Park for the National Park Service and recently detailed as a smokejumper for the U.S. Forest Service. Published September 4, 2012.

Last updated: July 2, 2018