A new fire chief was named to lead the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument’s fire and aviation program.
Robert Garcia, current deputy chief, will take the helm on March 8, succeeding current Fire Chief James Hall, who reached the mandatory age limit for federal fire and law enforcement positions after 36 years of service, according to a press release from the U.S. Forest Service.
Garcia, a 20-year veteran of the Forest Service and a Southern California native, started his career as one of the first graduates of the Angeles National Forest’s Wildland Fire Explorer Academy. He worked on engine and hotshot crews before moving on to serve as Superintendent for the Little Tujunga Hotshots, a battalion chief and division chief on the Los Angeles Rivers Ranger District, according to the statement.
“With such great mentors, such as Chief Hall who was my lead instructor during the Explorers to Tom Harbour, our current National Fire Director in Washington D.C., who was the Angeles’ Fire Chief when I was starting out as an explorer, I am proud to carry on and enhance the legacy of past fire chiefs on the Angeles,” he said in the statement.