Nic Tuntland is a new Rangeland Technician and Fire Engine Operator out of the Alturas Field Office. Although his primary responsibility is for the driving and operation of a type III engine in responding to wildland fires and all other risk activities, he is also a full assistant to the Captain of a Fire Engine Module. He is also responsible for providing leadership in accomplishing fire suppression, presuppression and wildland urban interface/intermix situations.
His background includes a partial season as a Hotshot out of Jackson, Mississippi in 2002 -- where he was able to experience the great life of a Hotshot and do a lot of prescribed burning in the southeast. Nic finished off the 2002 fire season with the Las Vegas Helitack crew, where he tells us he had a great experience working with a good crew. In 2003 he accepted a permanent/seasonal position as a Fire Engine Operator with the Elko BLM District in Elko, Nevada and he stayed in that position until accepting his current position in October of 2004.
Nic enjoys traveling to all the different areas that he is responsible for "...and the outrageous scenery that a person wouldn't see from a highway...". But he also values the camaraderie and leadership that he experiences in his position.
One of his more interesting experiences with BLM was being a part of a fire suppression operation with the Las Vegas Helitack that took place at Area 51. "What was so interesting was to be able to go somewhere that not everyone can go...and to see some outrageous things...like where the first nuclear bomb was tested in 1951."
Nic explains that it is the smell of smoke and seeing flames that drives him on the job - but off of it, his family takes center stage. Nic and his wife Jessica have a 19-month-old daughter, Felicity Mae and are expecting another daughter in January of 2005. Nic elaborates that as young as his daughter is she keeps him going and is something to look forward to every day.