Interim fire chief named for Riverside County

PERRIS – An interim fire chief is in charge in Riverside County Fire Department, following the still-unexplained removal of John Hawkins by Cal Fire, the agency that employs him.

Hawkins is still an employee of Cal Fire but is no longer Riverside County fire chief, a Cal Fire spokesman reported. Deputy Fire Chief Dan Talbot will serve as acting fire chief while a replacement is found.

No reason was cited for Hawkins’ removal.

“It was nothing on our end. This was a unilateral action by Cal Fire,” Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley said in remarks reported by The Desert Sun. He stressed that Hawkins was “very well-liked” by local officials.

Hawkins has been chief since August 2006 and a firefighter since 1964.

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