Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Forest Service recognized Senior Forest Ranger John DeWolfe as the 2017 Forestry Firefighter of the Year. John DeWolfe has served as a wildland firefighter with the Florida Forest Service since September 1997, and he currently serves in the Lakeland District. During last year’s historic wildfire season, which burned more than 260,000 acres, DeWolfe served as the Incident Commander for the Florida Forest Service’s incident management teams in the Lakeland District and the Withlacoochee Forestry Center.
“Our wildland firefighters risk their lives daily to protect Florida’s wildlife and residents from wildfire, and last year they courageously battled one of the most severe wildfire seasons in recent history,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “I congratulate John on being named the 2017 Forestry Firefighter of the Year and thank him for his selfless service.”
During his 20 years of service, Senior Ranger John DeWolfe has been involved in all aspects of the fire program, including training, emergency response and land management. DeWolfe mentors the next generation of wildland firefighters and leads trainees through Basic Fire Control Training, facilitates numerous training and safety courses, and is an Air Tactical Group Supervisor Trainee in the Aviation Mentoring Program.
“John is a crucial asset to our agency as a wildland firefighter, instructor and leader. He repeatedly demonstrates his commitment to his job and the safety of Floridians,” said Florida State Forester Jim Karels.
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres.