Tim Sexton

Firebreak Award
Firebreak Award for Excellence in Wildland Fire Management Tim started his career as a seasonal firefighter on the Shasta-Trinity NF. Early in his career Tim held positions on various National Forests, the Bureau of Land Management, and National Park System, a few of which are highlighted below.  Tim was also the first Superintendent of the Redmond Hotshot Crew, where he positively influenced numerous individuals who later went on to esteemed careers in resource and fire management. Tim then became a District FMO on the Winema NF, while obtaining a master’s degree in Fire Ecology from Oregon State University.   As the Deputy Regional FMO for the Intermountain Region of the National Park Service Tim’s attitude and perspective of “fire use” began to evolve. With the support of mentors and leaders he began to understand the need for beneficial wildfire on the land and quickly became an advocate himself. After a year as Deputy Regional FMO Tim took on a new position as a Fire Ecologist for the National Park System. In this position, Tim showcased his deep compassion and empathy for folks in the fire community by unpopularly advocating for the crewmembers who were implementing the prescribed burn that escaped and became the Cerro Grande Fire.  Many of those individuals have said that Tim’s unwavering support was critical in the days after the fire when they felt vilified. Tim returned to the USFS as the national Fire Use Program Manager where he became a vocal proponent of the use of wildland and prescribed fire. Due to Tim’s leadership in this area he was selected as the lead in an interagency effort to update the federal wildfire management policy.  This update was a major change in how federal land management agencies managed natural occurring wildland fires and removed many barriers to the flexibility needed in developing objectives and strategies to manage these fires.   Currently, Tim is the Program Manager for the Interagency Fire Program Management RD&A program. He has been instrumental in improving the Wildfire Decision Support System by being responsive to users on needed updates for the next generation of the database. He and his staff provide critical tools to support Agency Administrators, fire managers, and incident command teams in managing wildland fires.