WON Landing Page November 2021

Women of Fire: Trailblazing Fire Experts in the National Park Service

The following blog is an excerpt from, “Women of Fire: Trailblazing Fire Experts in the National Park Service,” by the National Park Foundation.

Women of Fire: Trailblazing Fire Experts in the National Park Service
Allyson Arulanantham at a wildfire in Everglades National Park – Photo by Zach Leavitt

There are more women than ever in the lower ranks of fire. We are coming out in forceful numbers to get a bite of the wildland fire cake, says Joy Logan.

Joy is an assistant engine module leader based at Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah, covering fire management for the Northwest Colorado Parks Group, which consists of Dinosaur National Monument, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Curecanti National Recreation Area, and Colorado National Monument.

She is one of the women coming out and showing the world that women can do this work too. And, do it really well.

She is also in great company.

At Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina, Allyson Arulanantham is a biological science technician – fire effects monitor. She works for the Appalachian-Piedmont-Coastal Fire Management Zone and monitors the response of various vegetation communities to prescribed fire and wildfire.

Shannon at Grand Canyon National Park with her children Shannon Deane
Shannon at Grand Canyon National Park with her children (Shannon Deane photo)

In Idaho, Shannon Deane has been working in fire-related jobs since 2009 and currently serves as the National Park Service (NPS) wildland fire budget analyst supporting parks from Texas to Montana. She plays a critical role in ensuring that the folks on the ground have what they need when it comes to anything fire related.

Over in New Mexico, Marla Rodgers, with more than thirty years of experience in wildland fire, is the fire management officer for a group of four national parks known as the Pueblo Parks: Bandelier National Monument, Valles Caldera National Preserve, Pecos National Historical Park, and Fort Union National Monument. Marla oversees all aspects of the wildland fire program in these parks, including wildland fire suppression, fuels management, fire aviation, fire ecology, and fire business management.

And while so many women are interested in wildland fire, the reality is that women make up less than five percent of the fire management leadership positions at the park level. At the national and regional levels, women make up less than two percent of the fire management leadership positions.

Continue reading, Women of Fire: Trailblazing Fire Experts in the National Park Service from the National Park Foundation here.

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