California’s top fire official announces retirement


(KTXL) — The governor’s office confirmed Monday morning California’s top fire official is stepping down.

Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter announced he will be retiring Dec. 10 and will move to San Diego “to focus on family, aging parents, and self.”

“A piece of my heart is and will always be with CAL FIRE. You have been my home away from home,” Porter wrote in his announcement.

“I couldn’t be more proud of your poise and performance under the strain that you have endured during my tenure. We’ve been through a lot… ,” he continued.

Porter started his career with Cal Fire as a forester in 1999. Nearly 20 years later, he became acting director of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection under former Gov. Jerry Brown and was appointed director by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, center, and Cal Fire Chief Thom Porter tour the area scorched by the Caldor Fire in Eldorado National Forest, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

“Chief Porter has seen the state through unprecedented wildfire challenges over the past three years, and Californians are fortunate to have had his steadfast leadership guiding our preparedness, response and recovery efforts,” Newsom wrote Monday. “I thank him for his over two decades of service with CAL FIRE and tireless work from day one of my Administration to protect communities across the state and implement our comprehensive forest and wildfire resilience strategy to tackle this existential threat head-on.”

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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