U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth today announced Thomas Harbour as director for the agency’s fire and aviation management program. Harbour will replace Jerry Williams who is retiring in January.
“Tom has devoted his entire career to working in the wildland fire community and brings with him a great deal of experience at all levels of the fire organization,” said Bosworth. “From participating in many types of emergency incidents, including hurricanes and floods, to leading elite management teams in fighting some of the largest and most complex wildfires in the U.S., Tom is a great fit for this management position.”
Harbour began his career with the Forest Service in 1970 as a firefighter in California. He moved on to hold various positions on the Apache National Forest in Arizona, the Challis National Forest in Idaho, and the Modoc National Forest and the Angeles National Forest, both in California. He also served in fire and aviation management roles at two regional offices, Montana and Utah. In addition to his normal duties, he led top interagency incident management teams for more than 10 years to battle incidents across the country. He has also assisted Indonesia and Greece in wildfire management. In August 2001, Harbour joined the headquarters office as deputy director of fire and aviation management.
“It will be an honor to serve as director of fire and aviation management for the agency,” said Harbour. “This is an exciting time. We have wonderful opportunities, and many challenges ahead of us. I look forward to continuing key partnerships and working with great people, both within and outside the Forest Service."
Harbour is a graduate of the University of California at Davis with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He also has a bachelor’s degree in forest management from Washington State University.
He and his wife LaRee of 25 years reside in Falls Church, Va., and have four children, Stephanie, 26, Saundra, 24, Derek, 22, and Serina, 20.
Harbour will assume his new duties in early January.