Season 8 | Wildland Firefighting Professionals | Episode 6

#127 | Wildland fire is tough but rewarding work

October 23, 2019 | Garth Fisher

Garth Fisher is the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Branch of Wildland Fire Management, National Training Director.  He currently also serves as the Chair and BIA Representative on the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.  Garth has 15 years of experience in wildland fire operations and wildland fire management. He began his career on a Type 2 handcrew and continued to advance his career as a Smokejumper for the Nez Perce Smokejumpers in Grangeville, Idaho.  In addition to his duties as the National Training Officer, he oversees the Fire Pathways program to foster the next generation of tribal and BIA wildland firefighters and fire managers. In this week’s episode, Garth explains what BIA does and how they pride themselves on being able to provide ongoing leadership training to their staff. If you’re looking to get started in wildland fire, this is an episode you don’t want to miss!

Key Takeaways:

[1:10] A message from Leadership Nature.

[1:50] A quick intro about Garth’s background.

[2:55] How did Garth first get introduced to natural resources?

[7:10] What made Garth pick wildland firefighting?

[10:35] What types of responsibilities does Garth have as the director of fire training?

[12:35] What does the BIA agency do?

[16:45] Garth explains some common ways people get into wildland firefighting.

[17:45] It’s important to set the right expectations for yourself when joining wildland fire. This is extremely difficult work to do!

[20:25] Garth shares some of the memorable experiences he’s had on the job over the years. 

[22:35] What has Garth learned about people and teams?

[23:50] If you want to move forward, you need to make yourself uncomfortable.

[27:00] Has Garth run into any close calls before?

[30:05] What type of training opportunities are available at BIA?

[35:30] Garth shares some of the good surprises he’s had along the way.

[38:25] What types of mentors has Garth had over the years?

Mentioned in This Episode:

Learn more about the BIA here

Find out about jobs with the BIA here

Learn about all types of government jobs in firefighting here

Read about the National Wildfire Coordinating Group here

Garth Fisher and his son Stanley at a Harlem Globetrotters baskeball game.




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