MAY 20, 2010

Kevin Korbel retires from C-PTPA

By Alannah Allbrett

   Kevin Korbel will be honored at retirement party Saturday, May 22 at 1 p.m. at the VFW Hall. He has been working with C-PTPA (Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protection Association) for the last four years.

   Kevin was born near Minneapolis and raised in a small town called River Falls, MN, which he said really reminds him of Moscow, being  a similar small, university town.

   At age 20 Kevin hiked the 1,000 mile Continental Divide Trail, starting at the Colorado/New Mexico border and hiking all the way to the Canadian border. He said he never thought of being a fireman while growing up, but he came west at the age of 21 because of his love of the mountains. He got a job with the Forest Service at the Canyon Work Center on the North Fork where he worked on a fire crew and operating a Cummins yarder. He met his future wife, Chris there in 1978. She was working at “stand exam plots” where she recorded plant growth at a particular site.

   Working at various locations, Kevin spent the next 26 years with the Idaho Department of Lands, the last assignment being in Kamiah. He wanted to be a little closer to home, so he accepted a position with C-PTPA. He admired their philosophy of “quick, effective, initial attack” on fires.  He said C-PTPA has a million acres to protect which include many homes and properties in their territory.

   “We don’t have a let it burn program.” he said. “Fire is a great tool to keep undergrowth down, but it has to be done at the right time and in the right weather conditions. Once a wildfire gets established, it is hard to work on and you almost need a weather event to stop it.” One of Kevin’s accomplishments has been helping keep fires small and people safe.

   In the immediate future, Kevin plans to work on a Type 2 fire team in a joint venture with the Forest Service and the State of Idaho, working on large fires on a 33 person team. He is looking forward to doing a little more hunting, and fishing, and spending more time with his family as he will only be called to the big fires.

   Kevin and Chris have three sons ages 25, 21, and 16, all of whom have attained the high honor of Eagle Scouts, of which Kevin is justifiably proud. One of the things Kevin hopes to achieve yet in his lifetime is “hiking the high points of the U.S.

   Family, friends, and co-workers are all welcome to attend the retirement party and wish Kevin well. Refreshments will be served.