San Bernardino National Forest Fire Chief Mike Dietrich to Retire; District Ranger Kurt Winchester to Be Promoted

Mike Dietrich

Mike Dietrich

The San Bernardino National Forest’s Fire and Aviation Management Chief Mike Dietrich will, after 33 years of government service, be retiring as of April 3. During his time as the forest’s fire chief, Dietrich helped develop the Mountain Area Safety Taskforce, which is now a nationally recognized multi-level government and private partnership since its formation in 2002 as a response to record drought and bark beetle infestation in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. For nearly 20 years, Dietrich has also participated on Incident Command Teams, serving as a Type I Incident Commander on the Zaca, Day and Basin Fires, as well as assisting in the Columbia Shuttle Recovery and during Hurricane Katrina. Prior to Fire Chief Dietrich’s retirement, current District Ranger Kurt Winchester, who joined the Mountaintop District of the San Bernardino National Forest two years ago, will, as of this week, serve as the new Fire Management Officer. According to Deputy Forest Supervisor Tom Gillett, “Kurt’s skills will be a valuable addition to the strong fire program already established here. We’re confident that Kurt will build on this momentum and keep the San Bernardino National Forest at the forefront of effective management of forest, regional and national fire-related issues.” For his part, Winchester, who is qualified as a Type 2 Incident Commander, says, “I’m excited about my new role on the forest and I look forward to continuing the excellent work established under Chief Dietrich.”

Kurt Winchester

Kurt Winchester

Related posts:

  1. Big Bear Resident Scott Tangenberg Assumes District Ranger Post for San Bernardino National Forest
  2. District Ranger Tangenberg Plans for Additional Fuels Reduction on Forest; SBNF Visitors Encouraged to Be Fire-Safe Over Holiday
  3. Forest Service Crews Contain Small Fire on San Bernardino National Forest, Off Highway 38
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