Audrey Walleser always knew wildland fire was in her blood. The daughter of a veteran and retired wildland fire fighter. Walleser in no stranger to the wildland fire world. Growing up in Missoula, Montana she was heavily engaged in forestry and fire activities from a very early age. Watching as her father spent countless years on wildland dispatches she was interested; However sadly it was tragedy that finally made the decision for her.
In July of 1994, Audrey watched as the wildland fire community reeled from the losses of South Canyon. We were always around the jump base, by dad was in aviation so we knew when and where the planes were going and coming from. “My Dad knew Don Mackey, he had been one of his wildland fire cadre; we all remember certain dates in time, that one is forever burned into mine. I can only remember 3 times I have ever seen my dad cry that was one. I grew up in a house where heroes wore Yellow/greens and military uniforms rather than sports jerseys”.
In 1998, Audrey won a State 4H project award for a research and analysis project on Storm King tragedy and then went on to win a national award for the same project
Walleser’s career has spanned over 18+ years in fuels, forestry, fire suppression and fire towers. The last 7 years have focused on a lot on public education and legislative policy. “I have a passion for educating the public, legislative bodies and decision makers to best assist not only their constituents but also the safety and well-being of those actually engaged in wildland fire”.
She currently is a Type 6 engine boss, NWCG certified instructor, and trainee positions for strike team/taskforce leader and public information officer. When not fighting fire, she makes her home in Fromberg, Montana; with her son Colt