Erin Horsburgh named deputy branch chief for NPS Wildland Fire

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

January 23, 2024 (press release) –

Erin Horsburgh joins the National Park Service as the deputy for wildland fire management.


News Release Date:

Contact: Tina Boehle, 208-387-5875

Erin Horsburgh has been selected as the new deputy chief for the Branch of Wildland Fire within the National Park Service (NPS).

Erin has over 30 years of experience within the Department of the Interior (DOI), beginning as a student intern at the Bureau of Reclamation in 1990 while attending Boise State University. Erin graduated with a bachelor’s in finance and transitioned to a career appointment in the DOI Office of the Secretary. Erin has worked in numerous positions throughout her career in finance, administration, acquisition, and human capital.

Erin has pioneered many firsts in her career. She comes to the National Park Service from serving as the first female deputy director at the Office of Wildland Fire and previously was the first female assistant director (AD) at the Office of Aviation Services. She also was the first female chair of the Interagency Fire Management Board (FMB).

As the AD at the Office of Aviation Services, Erin led an organizational transformation for the Office focused on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey resulting in improved employee job satisfaction of 19.5% and organizational satisfaction of 13% in one year. In addition, Erin led the creation of a new governance structure for aviation in the DOI to facilitate joint leadership toward development and achievement of shared aviation strategic goals receiving the NPS Outstanding Service Award from the then chair of the Executive Aviation Board, Cam Sholly, in 2014.

At the Office of Wildland Fire, Erin has been at the forefront for the workforce transformation efforts for firefighters. Erin co-led, with the Office of Human Capital, a wildland fire multi-bureau two-day hiring event in Bakersfield, California comprised of fire program leadership, human resource specialists, and hiring officials resulting in over 1,000 applicants, nearly 200 interviews, and over one hundred tentative job offers.

Over the past year, Erin has facilitated and led the legislation development for a permanent pay increase for federal and Tribal wildland firefighters, foundational to the FY2024 President’s Budget. Erin and her team also focused a request for additional firefighter capacity through evidential analysis. She traveled to Washington D.C. numerous times over the past year meeting in person and virtually with congressional committee staffers to advocate for the pay legislation. Erin initiated several contracts with external vendors over the past couple years for a departmental wildland fire workforce assessment, hiring efficiency analysis, and recruitment plan. She has also been behind the scenes coordinating with leadership the implementation of the new occupational series for Wildland Fire Program Management.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Erin and for the energy and expertise she brings to the team and the Service. Embracing excellence, driving results, and thinking outside the box, Erin brings a visionary approach to meaningful implementation," said Wildland Fire Branch Chief, Jason Fallon.

Erin grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and has always had a love for the national parks. She even has the full list posted on her refrigerator, checking off the parks she visits one by one with a goal to visit them all one day. She is eager to join the NPS Branch of Wildland Fire to continue supporting the NPS and wildland fire team.

Erin currently lives in Boise with her husband, Bryan, and their golden retriever, Lulu. Her twin 25-year-old sons, Caleb and Noah, also both live in Boise. Erin and her family are very active in the outdoors enjoying hiking, camping, fishing, and biking. She will begin her new position this month.

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