Season 8 | Wildland Firefighting Professionals | Episode 7

#128 | We’re all connected in the world of wildland fire

February 12, 2020 | Katie Lighthall

Katie Lighthall is the Coordinator for the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy in the Western Region. She assists federal, state, local and Tribal agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations understand what the Cohesive Strategy is and how it can be useful to reduce risk across landscapes, in communities and for wildfire response. Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and English from the University of Washington, and she brings her vast experience as a consultant, project manager, communications specialist, large loss specialist, firefighter and grant writer to her current position with the Cohesive Strategy in the West. She says when you’re facilitating understanding and implementation among multiple agencies and organizations, it’s important that everyone find shared values and work to reduce risk in ways that support those values. Katie shares her experience on today’s show and showcases how she got into the field in the first place!

Key Takeaways:

[1:10] A message from Leadership Nature.

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

[3:35] How did Katie first get introduced to this industry?

[8:15] What kind of training do you need to get started in this work?

[11:0] When Katie had her first child, she still wanted to be involved with the fire department but without taking calls in the middle of the night.

[14:05] Katie explains why we need a national cohesive wildland fire management strategy.

[20:50] When big fires happen, they call state or even federal crews so that multiple agencies coming in to tackle the fire.

[23:50] Everybody has a small part to play when it comes to wildland fire.

[27:25] What is the end-vision for the cohesive strategy?

[32:15] You need to evacuate your home earlier on red-flag warning day if you are caring for someone who has a disability and depends on you. Don’t wait till you receive an evacuation notice. The system is overwhelmed and by the time they get to you, it could be too late.

[36:25] What do leaders need to do better?

[41:15] What is Katie the proudest of about her career?

Mentioned in This Episode:

Read more about the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy on the US Forest Service website here

Follow the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy on Twitter here

Like and follow the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy on Facebook here

Read about how early evacuations saved the elderly in the Camp Fire here


Leadership Nature is a proud supporter of #forestproud, a diverse community of forest stewards.