fighting the west mimms fire

Erin Daughtrey on the Fireline 
On the first Monday of every month, we'll be highlighting a strong woman who embodies the Bad Momma spirit.   For our first edition, we could not have found a better representation of what Bad Momma Monday is all about than Erin Daughtrey.

Erin works for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a Forestry Technician.  She is also a wildland firefighter who has been assigned to the West Mims Fire in the Okefenokee Swamp.  The West Mimms fire has been burning since early April and is currently over 150,000 acres, making it the largest active fire in the United States.  

We took these photos on a recent trip to our PO Box, which is more than 30 miles from the actual fire site.   I can't imagine what the smoke and heat must be like where Erin goes to work every day!
Firefighters from all over the country have been called in to fight the West Mimms fire, but because Erin is actually assigned to the Okefenokee region, her job goes beyond fighting the flames.   Erin explained, "While I still participate with fire suppression and containment, I also monitor our upland forests as a resource adviser. We manage our forests for several threatened and endangered species and we try to limit the impact on them from the fire if possible."   She went on to add, "Firefighting is not always adrenaline packed work. Many days are spent 'mopping up,' which means finding and eliminating heat sources near constructed firelines."  I don't know about you, but that sounds adrenaline packed enough for me!!  

In typical Bad Momma fashion, Erin downplayed her own heroism, and recognized the entire firefighting team.  She told us, "Each and every firefighter assigned to this fire is important and we are all dedicated to doing everything we can to keep everyone safe along with protecting our resources."
As if fighting fires and rescuing wildlife weren't enough, Ms. Daughtrey is also in the process of completing her graduate degree in wildlife and forestry.  Her studies have taken her literally around the world, including a trip to Africa, where she plans to return in the near future.  

Erin does not have any children, but it would be hard to say she is anything less than one seriously Bad Momma!  This morning, I invite you to raise your mug and tip your hat in honor of Erin Daughtrey, our  June Bad Momma of the Month!
Our Bad Momma placing bands on endagered red-cockaded woodpecker chicks 

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