Chief, Southern Region
Thom was appointed Southern Region Chief on June 1, 2015 by CAL FIRE Chief Ken Pimlott. Thom began his career with CAL FIRE in 1999 as a Forester I in the Forestry Assistance Program at the Southern Operations Center. In 2001, he transferred to the San Diego Unit where he worked as the Urban and Community Forestry and then Unit Forester, responsible for the Unit Vegetation Management and Pre-fire programs. Thom promoted to Forester II in 2002, leading the multi-agency collaborative Forest Area Safety Taskforce (FAST) and Border Area Fire Council (BAFC).
In 2008, Thom promoted to Forestry and Fire Protection Administrator and was assigned to the Southern Operations Center in Riverside, where he coordinated the regional delivery of the Department's Resource Management Programs, including fuels management grant programs. In 2012, Thom promoted to Unit Chief of the San Diego Unit, where he was also the County Fire Authority Fire Chief. Thom promoted to Assistant Region Chief for the Southern Region on December 1, 2013.
Prior to his CAL FIRE career, Thom worked as a Forester in the timber industry in Washington, Oregon, and California developing timber harvesting plans, including planning and directing prescribed burning and company safety programs in all three states. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Forest Management from the University of California Berkeley and is a Registered Professional Forester.