José Luis Duce is an experienced fire practitioner with extensive experience in both suppression and prescribed fire. He has a Master’s Degree in Humanities and is currently conducting part time study for a ‘MasterFuego’ (Wildland Fire Science and Integrative Management MSc). He started his career in 1992 in Guadalajara (Spain), working in different positions in hand and engine crews, and from 1998 to 2003 took up a role in a helitack crew. In 2004 he became a crew boss in the La Iglesuela BRIF helitack crew (one of the elite crews from the Ministry of Environment of Spain) fighting fires all around Spain. He later became a prescribed fire, firing boss and burn boss in the EPRIF teams (Integrated Wildfire Prevention Teams) for the region of Navarra during winter seasons. More recently he has become a lead trainer in prescribed fire and suppression operations, training in many regions and agencies, and he has been a very active part of the TREX program (The Fire Learning Network, comprised of – The Nature Conservancy and the US Forest Service) in different states, with different objectives. He has been in almost 20 TREXes, training more than 800 professionals from the United States, Latin America and Europe. José is a published author of articles and books – ‘Incendios de Intefaz. Manual de Actuación’, ‘Wildland Urban Interface Strategies and Tactics’. And was recently awarded Spain’s highest fire honor, the ‘Batefuegos de Oro’, known as The Golden Flapper, which is a kind of Oscar in the fire world in Spain.
He considers himself two things above all: a fire student always ready to learn and enjoy learning about fire, and secondly a member of the world fire family. Behind behind all the activities he organizes inside and outside of Spain, there is a commitment for the loss of some of his best comrades and friends on the fire line, who were working tirelessly to make better ecosystems and improve safety for communities. The fire family sustains his enthusiasm for his work and commitment to continuous improvement.