A Southern Illinois native, Riechman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Miami University in Ohio before returning to the Carbondale area for a master's in Forestry from Southern Illinois University where he published his research on the challenges facing prescribed burn practitioners. Jesse became the coordinator for the Southern Illinois Prescribed Burn Association (SIPBA) in 2012, where as an Illinois certified prescribed burn manager he oversees burns in the 11 southernmost counties of Illinois. He served on the Makanda Township Fire Department for 13 years, earning the rank of Battalion Chief. Additionally, he is a wildland firefighter and engine boss with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Most recently, Jesse has been committed to “Ignite Illinois,” a collaboration of prescribed fire practitioners whose mission is to promote prescribed fire by providing a standard for training, organization and public involvement in Illinois. He is currently involved in supporting the new PBA, the “Great Rivers Prescribed Burn Association” as it serves nine additional counties in Central Illinois. When he’s not on a fire, Jesse can be found on a motorcycle or traveling the world with his wife and son.