Norm McDonald New Alaska Division of Forestry Wildland Fire Chief
The Alaska Division of Forestry has a new wildland fire chief. Norm McDonald was named the state’s new wildland fire and aviation program manager. He took over the new position effective May 1, succeeding former state wildland fire chief Tom Kurth, who retired in December.
McDonald, who has worked for the Division of Forestry for thirty years, was most recently the fire management officer for the Mat-Su/Southwest Area, based in Palmer.
McDonald began his wildland firefighting career in 1989 as a crew member on the Alaska intern crew. Over the next seventeen seasons, he worked on hand crews, engines, and helitack.
In 2006, McDonald became the fire management officer for the Anchorage/Mat-Su Area, overseeing wildland fire responses and management. McDonald helped develop two permanent state fire crews—the Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew and the Gannett Glacier Type 2 Initial Attack Crew—which remain key components of the state’s initial attack resources. McDonald responded to fires throughout Alaska and the Lower 48 as a member of the Alaska Incident Management Team, where he now serves as incident commander.
“Wildland fires are a part of the ecological role with Alaska’s forests, but they can also pose a threat to people, property, infrastructure.” McDonald said. “As an agency, we will continue to do everything we can to protect Alaska and Alaskans from unneeded and unwanted wildfires. Public safety is our number-one priority, we will provide that through aggressive fire response, public education, and sound wildland fire management practices.”
In This Issue
The Art of Architecture
Architects often find themselves facing something of a chicken and egg dilemma. When it comes to design, what takes precedence—form or function?
“It’s a great question, and it’s probably a loaded question,” says David McVeigh, president of RIM Architects. “You can ask ten different architects and get ten different answers.”
Many of the factors that influence those answers land outside the architect’s control. The client’s vision for the building, its location and intended use, the project budget, and whether the design must conform to specific guidelines are all details the architect must consider when determining how much emphasis to place on aesthetics and how much on function.