U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Pinedale Field Office
|Release Date: 05/07/13|
BLM Recognizes Local Efforts for Wildland Fire Safety
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recognized Sublette County Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Mitchell and Daniel Fire Warden T.J. Hunt as National Wildland Fire Safety Award runners-up for their commitment to safety during the 2012 fire season and Fontenelle wildfire west of Big Piney, Wyo., at the Sublette County Commissioner’s meeting today.
Mitchell and Hunt were honored for their support and contributions to wildland firefighter safety and wildfire preparedness in Sublette County, Wyo. The county had not experienced a large fire in over a decade; however, extreme drought conditions increased the likelihood by the summer of 2012. Mitchell and Hunt initiated a pre-season field tour and discussion between the BLM, Forest Service, local fire management personnel, and operators and managers of the LaBarge oil and gas field to identify critical needs and hazards and to develop response scenarios in the event of a wildfire.
In June 2012, lightning ignited the Fontenelle fire on Forest Service lands immediately upwind of the LaBarge oil and gas field. The fire soon encroached on the field and, within a week, entered major areas of production. Almost 1,000 wells and associated pipeline were shut down and nearby helium production was interrupted.
Mitchell has been the Sublette County emergency management coordinator for the Wyoming Department of Homeland Security since 2011. Prior to joining Sublette County, he was a peace officer in Sweetwater County, Wyo., for ten years.
Hunt has been the fire warden of the Daniel, Wyo., volunteer fire department for five years. Previously, he served as deputy warden for 10 years and has been involved with the department for a total of 26 years.
“We recognize individuals and groups that help our organization learn, grow and become more resilient. Mitchell and Hunt demonstrated leadership abilities and commitment to safety by being proactive in wildland fire preparedness, by being key cooperator to incident management teams and by ensuring firefighter public safety,” stated Timothy Murphy, BLM Fire Director. “Their support and contribution to the wildland fire community before and during the Fontenelle fire deserves special recognition.”
The BLM’s National Wildland Fire Safety Award is presented each year for outstanding leadership and service in wildland fire safety.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2012, activities on public lands generated $4.6 billion in revenue, much of which was shared with the States where the activities occurred. In addition, public lands contributed more than $112 billion to the U.S. economy and helped support more than 500,000 jobs.
Pinedale Field Office 1625 West Pine Street Pinedale WY 82941
|Last updated: 05-07-2013|
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