News Release

Melissa Forder Named as New National Fire Planner

Melissa Forder.
Melissa Forder is the new national fire planner for the National Park Service.

News Release Date: May 26, 2020

Contact: Tina Boehle, 208.387.5875

Melissa Forder is the new National Park Service (NPS) national fire planner, a role she has been detailed in since the beginning of 2020. Melissa has worked for the National Park Service for over 20 years, beginning her fire career in 2000 at Shenandoah National Park as the lead fire effects monitor. She spent eight years in this position leading a crew in the collection of monitoring data throughout nine states, from Maine to Virginia. Melissa then became the fire ecologist for the Northeast and National Capitol regions. She gained experience as the fire planner and fire ecologist for the region before moving into her current position in the Southeast / Interior Region 2 as the deputy regional fire management officer. In this role, Melissa oversaw the fire planning, fire ecology and fuels program for five zones and 63 NPS units across the southeast / Interior Region 2.

Melissa is interested in promoting professional growth opportunities for women in the NPS and is on the leadership teams for the Women-in-Fire Training Exchange (WTREX) and NPS Women’s Employee Resource Group (W-ERG).

Melissa is a Type 1 planning section chief trainee on the Southern Area “Red” Incident Management Team (IMT). She has served in numerous planning section roles with the NPS IMT including the recent COVID-19 IMT response in Washington D.C.

“In her time with the National Park Service Melissa has worn many hats. It’s this varied experience and passion for supporting the mission of the NPS that makes her the perfect person to lead the fire management planning efforts across the Service,” said National Park Service Wildland Fire Planning and Budget program leader, Mark Koontz.

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science and Forestry from the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She and her husband, Norm, have two daughters, fourteen-year-old Summer, and ten-year-old Sierra. They spend most of their time at basketball, volleyball, soccer and swimming practices, games, or tournaments. Melissa is also an avid runner who has completed a number of marathons and triathlons across the country. Duty stationed in Virginia, she entered on duty as of May 24, 2020.

Last updated: May 26, 2020