WDS is a national leader in private wildfire services, combining professional wildfire consulting with federally-certified emergency response wildfire suppression services. Founded in 2001 to fulfill initial-attack assignments for the US Forestry Service, the company added professional services support in 2005 and launched comprehensive wildfire loss-prevention programs for insurers in 2008.

WDS provides services to the private sector at an wildfire agency-level scale. We cover a 21- state region with highly-experienced personnel, the largest private fleet of wildfire engines in the nation, and an unmatched inventory of wildfire suppression and structure protection equipment and materials. Our mix of professional management and field operation expertise allows us to perform projects and assignments ranging from design and implementation of comprehensive wildfire programs to wildfire suppression and structure protection services.

New Headquarters

As a small wildfire response company, having a Home Office in Red Lodge, MT and an Operations Center in Bozeman, MT made sense. As we have grown over the last 10 years so have our physical space needs. These needs have largely been met by ad hoc expansions into available space, resulting in us devoting much time and effort into remodeling spaces that we soon outgrow and having teams split across rooms and floors.

So, we are pleased to announce that in the summer of 2018 we will be moving into phase 1 of our new Corporate Headquarters in the Galactic Business Park in Bozeman, MT. This state-of- the-art building is designed to better facilitate inter-departmental collaboration while allowing for future growth. Situated by the Gallatin River and with commanding views of the Bridger Mountain Range, our new building will provide an outstanding working environment for our existing team, and will help us attract high-quality talent as we continue to grow.

Meet The Team

WDS is a team of technical experts, management professionals, wildfire officers, and field staff. The following key personnel are supported by mid-level managers, field wildfire officers, GIS specialists, IT and security professionals, firefighters, editors and technical writers, call center technicians, and WDS subcontractors. Together we have grown the company from a small seasonal wildfire-fighting service with four engines to the largest private wildfire service company in the nation.

team member

David Torgerson


David is the CEO/Founder of Wildfire Defense Systems with more than 29 years of experience in environmental engineering and wildfire/hazardous materials risk management. A nationally recognized expert in insurer wildfire risk management and loss

team member

Leland Johnson

Senior Vice President & CTO

Leland has 30 years of experience in the technology arena with 15 of those years serving as a C-Level executive within the insurance industry.

team member

Michael Ray

Advisory Board Member

Michael is a member of the WDS Advisory Board and is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter with over 20 years of experience in executive leadership roles in property casualty insurance, including positions as CEO/Owner of a privately held MGA

team member

Nick Lauria

Director of Services Delivery

Nick has over 25 years of career fire department experience in emergency services strategic planning and administration and has served in all capacities from firefighter to fire chief in Colorado. Nick's expertise includes risk management, loss

team member

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Carson Monson

Director of Support Services

Carson joined WDS in 2009, bringing over two decades of architectural, automation and construction management experience. He also spent many years in the emergency response fields as an EMT, Volunteer Firefighter, 911 Disaster Response team leader,

team member

Glenn McNitt

Executive Fire Officer

Glen is a former US Forest Service Wildfire Officer and currently qualified as a Federal Type 2 Incident Commander with over 36 years of experience in federal natural resource stewardship, federal wildfire management, and public relations.

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Eric Morris

Senior Manager of Field Services and Senior Fire Officer

Eric has 25 years of wildland fire experience and is a former Station Foreman of a multiagency fire station with state, county, and federal resources. He is currently qualified as an ICT3, Task Force Leader, Strike Team Leader, Engine Boss, Crew Boss, and Prescribed Fire Burn Boss.

team member

Brett Beagley

Executive Fire Officer

Brett is a former Fuels Specialist with the US Forest Service; he has 24 years of wildland fire experience with the Forest Service, Park Service and Volunteer Fire Departments. His current qualifications are Division/Group Supervisor and Incident Commander Type 3.

team member

Brenda Martin

Executive Assistant to the President

If you’ve called and heard “It’s a great day at Wildfire Defense” then you’ve met Brenda! While having an extensive background in Sales, Marketing and Commercial Real Estate, Brenda joined the WDS team 5 years ago in an Accounting & Corporate

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Sheryl Dettmann

Executive Assistant

Sheryl joined WDS to assist the Senior VP of Operations/CTO with corporate initiatives and strategy, as well as to manage human resources. She brings over 15 years’ experience in intellectual property management, contract negotiation, and federal

team member

Lieveka White


Lieveka brings 10 years of diverse accounting experience to her role as Controller for Wildfire Defense Systems. Her background includes working for a large governmental agency, as well as a multinational private business.


For more information on programs or services contact WDS Corporate Office at 406.446.3646

For fire response related inquiries during a wildfire contact our operations center at 877.323.4730 ext. 1

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