BLM Fire Podcasts

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is a leader in the nation’s wildland fire management. BLM Fire carries out a broad range of actions to protect the public, natural landscapes, wildlife habitat, recreational areas, and other values and resources.  

The national BLM Fire program focuses on public safety as its top priority, and consists of fire suppression, preparedness, predictive services, vegetative fuels management, prescribed fire, community assistance and protection, and fire prevention through education. To meet its wildland fire-related challenges, the BLM employs highly trained professional firefighters and managers who are committed to managing wildfire on our public lands.  

The BLM Fire program is headquartered at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, where it works with seven other federal agencies to manage wildland fire, primarily in the western United States.  

Wildfire Matters takes you behind the scenes to talk with the people who strive to manage the landscape, protect our precious natural resources, and keep our communities safe as we continue to learn how to live with wildfire.  #WeAreBLMFire 

Podcast 1 - Today's wildland fire management issues: a discussion with Grant Beebe

Grant Beebe, Bureau of Land Management Assistant Director, Fire and Aviation, talks to us about being a firefighter and working his way up to build a career in wildland fire management. He discusses how agencies work together nationally and internationally to share resources, what people can do to help the wildfire situation, and the issues we face today in hiring firefighters and managing wildfires as a nation.

Podcast 2 - Wildland fire planning and fuels management: a discussion with Jolie Pollet

Jolie Pollet, Bureau of Land Management Division Chief, Fire Planning and Fuels Management, talks to us about her career in wildland fire management and the importance of fuels, or vegetation, management to reduce wildfire risk. She explains what fire planning is, discusses fuels management from fire breaks to community assistance, why it is so important, what people can do to reduce their own risk, and the goals and challenges we face today in fuels management to "defend and grow the core."

Episode 3 - Explaining the National Interagency Fire Center: a talk with Jessica Gardetto

Jessica Gardetto, Chief, Bureau of Land Management Fire Public Affairs, explains what NIFC is, from interagency support to why and how agencies work together to manage wildfires. We discuss what external affairs does, how we communicate our mission, and some of the challenges and changes we are seeing in our workforce.

Episode 4 - Wildland fire management and the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group with Ken Schmid

Ken Schmid, Branch Chief of Preparedness and Suppression Support for BLM Fire talks about how he started working in wildland fire management, his position at the National Interagency Fire Center, and his role in the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group, NMAC. From overseeing national radio operations, rural fire readiness, and the military veterans fire crew program, Ken also explains his duties as the NMAC Chair and how NMAC functions - setting national preparedness levels, working with geographic areas and international partners, planning for military support, and how national wildland fire management resources are prioritized.

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Episode 5 - Working at the National Interagency Coordination Center: a discussion with Sean Peterson

Sean Peterson, Assistant Center Manager of the National Interagency Coordination Center, or NICC, talks about his career in wildland fire management from firefighter to his current position at the National Interagency Fire Center. We discuss day to day NICC operations – explaining the dispatch system and the role of the air space coordination unit, predicative services, and the intelligence section. Sean talks about working with the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group, or NMAC, on setting national wildfire resources priorities, preparedness levels, and the importance of working with interagency, state, international, and military partners to support not only wildfires nationally but also assisting FEMA during all-hazard/all-risk incidents.

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Episode 6 - Working at the National Interagency Coordination Center: a discussion with Sean Peterson

Sean Peterson, Assistant Center Manager of the National Interagency Coordination Center, or NICC, talks about his career in wildland fire management from firefighter to his current position at the National Interagency Fire Center. We discuss day to day NICC operations – explaining the dispatch system and the role of the air space coordination unit, predicative services, and the intelligence section. Sean talks about working with the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group, or NMAC, on setting national wildfire resources priorities, preparedness levels, and the importance of working with interagency, state, international, and military partners to support not only wildfires nationally but also assisting FEMA during all-hazard/all-risk incidents.

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Episode 7 - Predicting wildfire potential with meteorologists Nick Nauslar and Jim Wallmann

National Interagency Coordination Center meteorologists Nick Nauslar and Jim Wallmann explain the difference between prediction and potential for weather forecasting. We discuss day-to-day operations in predicative services at the National Interagency Fire Center, how the National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook is produced, and the significance of communicating fire weather to wildland fire managers, media, and the public. We also hear about anomalies such as fire-generated tornadic vortices increasing in frequency and working on wildfires as an incident meteorologist (IMET). 

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Episode 8 - Wildland firefighter to fuel management specialist: a conversation with Courtney Wyatt

Boise District BLM Fuels Specialist Courtney Wyatt talks about her experience working in wildland fire suppression and transitioning to fuels management. We discuss wildland fire management at the ground level from being on an engine, helitack, and hotshot crew to planning and implementing vegetation treatments like jackpot burning and fuel break design. We also explore how fuels management can help our wildland firefighters and protect the public.

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