Steering Group

Chief Craig Daugherty
Craig Daugherty, Fire Chief (Retired) - San Juan County Fire Department, Aztec, NM

Craig Daugherty has been involved in wildland firefighting for over 30 years. He got “the bug” to be a firefighter at a young age working alongside his father as a volunteer. He fought wildland fires in the summer as seasonal firefighter or the U.S. Forest Service, putting himself through college at Texas A & M University and earning a degree in Forestry. Over his professional career he worked for the U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Department of Lands, New Mexico State Forestry Division and San Juan County Fire Department (SJCFD). While at SJCFD he served as the Wildland Division Chief, Deputy Chief of Operations and retired in December of 2019 after serving 5 years as the Fire Chief. Since retirement Craig started a consulting business focusing on community wildfire protection. In 2002 he started serving as a member of National Incident Management Teams (IMT). In 2006 he started traveling with a Type 1 IMT, and currently is qualified as a Type 1 Operations Section Chief. Chief Daugherty continues to respond to wildland fires with his IMT. In his travels with IMT’s he has been in many diverse areas of the country, where fires were impacting interface areas with a large number of homes either threatened or burned. Craig is also member of the IAFC’s wildland policy committee, focusing on national wildland fire issues affecting local government.

Mark Novak, Fire Chief - Vail Fire and Emergency Services, Town of Vail, Colorado

Mark Novak is the Fire Chief of Vail Fire and Emergency Services in Vail, Colorado. Mark has served in this position since January 2015. Mark began his fire service career in the San Diego area in 1984 and relocated to the Lake Tahoe region of Northern Nevada in 1990, where he served for 24 years. Mark has a Master's Degree in Public Administration, Bachelor's Degrees in Fire Administration and Fire Prevention and holds the CPSE CFO designation.

Mark currently sits on the International Association of Fire Chiefs-Wildland Fire Policy Committee, the National Fire Protection Association- Wildland and Rural Fire Protection Technical Committee, the National Association of State Foresters- Wildland Fire Committee, and is an appointed member of the Colorado Fire Commission.

Erik Litzenberg, Fire Chief (Retired) – Santa Fe Fire Department, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Erik Litzenberg is the Senior Wildland Fire Advisor for the the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He served the majority of his local government career in the City of Santa Fe Fire Department, completing his time in the City as Fire Chief and City Manager before returning to the Santa Fe County Fire Department where his career began. Through 25 years of service he has worked for New Mexico State Forestry and as part of multiple Incident Management Teams, and for many years owned Santa Fe Wildfire, which provided resources for large scale incident management and response.

Litzenberg holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of New Mexico and a master’s degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, and is a doctoral candidate in sports administration. Litzenberg represents local government as the past Chair of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Wildland Fire Policy Committee, as an advisor to the Wildland Fire Leadership Council, and as a member of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group Executive Board.

He is now the owner and lead consultant for Liderazgo Consulting focusing on government, leadership and team building. He enjoys training for and participating in triathlons, and lives in Santa Fe with his wife and children.