CLOVIS – The Sierra National Forest is pleased to announce that Dave Updike has come on board as the new Fire Management Officer.
The Sierra is facing many challenges as they deal with the largest number of dead trees on the forest in recorded history, and Updike is ready to get to work.
“We have identified the problem and need to work on building collaborative partnerships to address the challenge for a successful outcome,” says Updike of the massive beetle kill and the ongoing drought. This outlook is welcomed by other employees on the forest along with the residents and visitors, because protecting public land from this issue is a main priority.
Dave comes to the Sierra from the Plumas National Forest in Northern California. After a year on the Plumas National Forest, Dave sought a new challenge and adventure that brought him to the Sierra National Forest. Previous to his position on the Plumas, Dave spent 19 years working for the Mountains Recreation Conservancy Authority in Southern California serving nine years as the Fire Chief.
Dave also is currently an Instructor at Rio Hondo College and Pepperdine University specializing in Wildland Fire. He has become a mentor for students at the college, and finds it one of his most rewarding passions.
Finally, when asked about the advice that he would like to give to the younger generations, Dave mentions a wildland fire career is not like a typical career ladder, it is better compared to a climbing wall. A climbing wall that is not straight up and down because it can sometimes give you opportunities that are off to the side and that may lead to a better path.
“Make the best of every experience and opportunity.”