State Forester Jim Karels Recognized by Florida Cabinet

Florida State Forester Jim Karels was recognized by the Florida Cabinet this week in appreciation for his leadership during the investigation into the deaths of 19 firefighters in the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona in 2013.

“Jim demonstrated true leadership in lending his expertise and experience to the investigation of the fire that killed 19 fellow firefighters in Arizona last year,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “The lessons learned from his investigation can be implemented in Florida and across the country to help keep our firefighters safe from harm.”

The recognition came from the Yarnell Hill Fire Serious Accident Investigation Team, who presented Karels with a plaque thanking him for his leadership on the difficult assignment.

“Jim provided strong leadership by making the tough decisions that had to be made,” said Richa Wilson, Architectural Historian for the U.S. Forest Service. “His work furthered learning through the wildland firefighter community for the next generation.”

Karels is the incoming President of NASF.

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