During his career, Rich worked 32 years in fire management and forestry. Outfitted with a degree in Forest Management, he started his career as a seasonal employee with the Forest Service as a forestry technician and member of the Helena Interagency Hotshot Crew, then moved on to permanent positions with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) as a Fire Management Officer, at three different field locations.
The last 12 years of his career Rich worked as a National Fire Planner with the BIA at NIFC, doing fire planning, and served as the BIA National Lead for fire behavior, fire weather and the remote automated weather station (RAWS) program. His expertise is in prescribed fire, fire operations, fire behavior, fire weather, training, fire management planning and strategic budget planning. While at NIFC he also served on several NWCG Committees including Fire Danger, Fire Weather and RAWS. Rich has taught many basic fire training courses and has served as a Lead Instructor for S-290, FireFamily Plus, and an instructor or coach for advanced fire behavior courses such as FARSITE.
- Prescribed Fire Burn Boss (12 + years)
- Fire Behavior Analyst (13 + years)
- Long Term Fire Analyst Trainee (1 year)
- Division Supervisor (8 + years)
- Type 3 IC (10 + years)
- Fire Management Officer at Rocky Boys Agency in Montana, Olympic Peninsula Agency in Washington, and Northern Pueblos Agency in New Mexico
- National Fire Planner with the BIA, NIFC, in Boise, Idaho