The chief of California’s forestry and wildland firefighting agency announced Monday that he will retire next month after shepherding the state through three historic wildfire seasons, the most recent of which saw two massive blazes span the Sierra Nevada for the first time in recorded history.
Thom Porter's tenure was not without controversy, as when he took the blame in June for Gov. Gavin Newsom overstating the amount of land that had been treated with prescribed burns and fuel breaks designed to slow wildfires.
Newsom said 90,000 acres had been treated, when Capitol Radio first reported that the actual number was 87% less. Porter said his Department of Forestry and Fire Protection had done a poor job educating the governor, and the public, about its efforts.