Brewer's office made the announcement today, but a Google search shows Christiansen has been off and running for weeks now. On April 1, she testified before Congress in her new role as Arizona State Forester. She toured the Arizona Wildfire Academy in late March.
Christiansen is well qualified for her job -- and she'll need to be in order to help prevent another catastrophe like the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski fire.
Brewer's news release follows:
Governor Jan Brewer Announces
Arizona State Forester
PHOENIX - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today announced the appointment of Vicki Christiansen as Arizona State Forester and Director of the Arizona Division of Forestry. She is responsible for the protection of 22 million acres of state and private lands in Arizona which includes the prevention and suppression of wildland fires as well as oversight of forest health, stewardship forestry and urban and community forestry programs in the state.
"Ms. Christiansen has a wealth of management and policy experience in the fields of natural resources and wildland fire protection and sustainable forest management," stated Brewer. That experience coupled with her more than 28 years of hands on wildland fire fighting experience, make her uniquely qualified to lead our Forestry Division."
As State Forester, she will represent Arizona at the national and state level in advocating the practice of sustainable forestry and the protection of forestlands for current and future generations. "All of the forests in Arizona are important to our citizens, regardless of whether they are under private, state, tribal or federal ownership," stated Brewer. "Ms. Christiansen has the talent and expertise to work collaboratively with all partners for the protection and restoration of Arizona's forests."
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Christiansen served as Washington State Forester for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). She began her 28-year service with the Washington State DNR as a wildland fire fighter, and went on to serve in numerous additional capacities including as a forester responsible for the reforestation of trust lands in the Mt. Saint Helens blast zone, Forest Fire Protection Specialist, Agricultural Resources Division Manager and as Regional Operations Manager in Executive Management. She has numerous credentials in the wildland fire program with a special expertise as a fire line-blasting advisor.
Ms. Christiansen received her Bachelor of Science in Forest Management from the University of Washington, graduating cum laude. She resides in Phoenix and is married to Mike Harris, a Fire Chief in Washington State. He will join her in the next year. They have two grown sons.