The incident commander of a team of firefighters who left a line because of their fear of unhappy local landowners has lost his post.
Chris Ourada has been taken off the Great Basin Type 1 Incident Management Team, one of 15 elite units brought in to manage large fires and other national emergencies, such as hurricanes.
Ourada, of Idaho Falls, remains in his post with the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, but will not serve as an incident management team commander. Ourada declined to comment, but in an email obtained by the Statesman confirmed that he lost the post.
“This is going to be hard so I will just say it. Today my Type 1 qualifications were revoked so I will no longer be a part of Great Basin Team 2,” he wrote to colleagues. “If you have questions, you can probably contact your section chiefs and they can fill you in.”
The move came after a regional Forest Service board reviewed his handling of an incident during the Tepee Fire near Riggins in early September.
An unidentified firefighter filed a report on the National Interagency Fire Center’s SAFENET page raising safety concerns. The report was published in the Web magazine Wildfire Today, along with a response from the landowners of Mountain View Elk Ranch on the West Fork of Lake Creek east of Riggins.