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New director chosen for California state fire agency

California Fire Chief
Posted at 12:33 PM, Mar 05, 2022

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Fire-plagued California has a new state fire chief.

Joe Tyler, a 31-year veteran of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, was appointed Thursday to head a department struggling with drought- and climate-change-fueled conflagrations that in recent years have destroyed thousands of homes and killed dozens of people.

Tyler had his first full day on the job Friday and called his selection an honor. He's been with Cal Fire since 1991. He replaces Thom Porter, who retired in December following one of the worst wildfire seasons in state history.

Tyler will oversee an agency with a nearly $4 billion budget and more than 9,600 employees.