Experienced Wildland Fire Leader Named BLM Alaska Fire Service Manager

Alaska Fire Service
Media Contact
Man with mustache sitting in chair.
Photo of Kyle Cowan, the new Deputy State Director of Fire and Aviation in Alaska and Manager of the BLM Alaska Fire Service. BLM photo.


ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has named Kyle Cowan as the new Deputy State Director of Fire and Aviation in Alaska and Manager of the BLM Alaska Fire Service (AFS). The position also serves as the BLM Alaska State Fire Management Officer. In this position, Cowan will manage the fire and aviation program for BLM Alaska and lead a team of approximately 380 BLM AFS personnel dedicated to providing safe, cost-effective wildland fire response to all Department of the Interior and Native lands in Alaska. 

Cowan is returning to BLM AFS where he served as the Associate Manager from 2018 to 2022. He spent the past two years as a Division Chief of Fire Operations for the BLM Fire and Aviation Directorate in Boise.  

“I look forward to returning to Alaska and continuing AFS’s collaboration with local, state, federal and Indigenous partners to better protect our lands, our communities, our people and our way of life from the increasing threat of wildfires,” Cowan said.  

He will begin his new position on Monday. 

“Kyle comes to this position with significant experience in wildland fire and the leadership skills needed to guide AFS through the opportunities and challenges of the future,” said BLM Alaska State Director Steve Cohn.  

Cowan’s career began with the U.S. Forest Service in Southern Colorado at the Rio Grande National Forest, and since then, it has taken him to Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, Alaska, and most recently Idaho. Cowan has held several fire management Leadership positions in the western United States, including Alaska. Across his career, he has progressed from a wildland firefighter to Type 1 upper-level operations section chief, and has shown leadership at multiple levels, from being a squad boss to Division Chief BLM Fire in Boise.  

Cowan is replacing Kent Slaughter, who after a 32-year-career in wildland fire, including the last 12 as the BLM AFS manager, reached his mandatory fire retirement in September and transitioned into a new position with BLM Alaska State Office. 




Bureau of Land Management, Alaska Fire Service, P.O. Box 35005 1541 Gaffney Road, Fort Wainwright, Ak 99703 

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The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS) located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides wildland fire suppression services for over 244 million acres of Department of the Interior and Native Corporation Lands in Alaska. In addition, AFS has other statewide responsibilities that include: interpretation of fire management policy; oversight of the BLM Alaska Aviation program; fuels management projects; and operating and maintaining advanced communication and computer systems such as the Alaska Lightning Detection System. AFS also maintains a National Incident Support Cache with a $24 million inventory. The Alaska Fire Service provides wildland fire suppression services for America’s “Last Frontier” on an interagency basis with the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Military in Alaska.