Oklahoma Forestry Services announces the promotion of Andy James to assistant director and fire management chief. James will lead the state’s wildfire suppression and mitigation operations, as well as provide leadership for the division’s field operations based out of Tahlequah, Wilburton and Broken Bow.
“As the state’s lead agency for wildfire suppression, the role of fire chief is critical,” said Director of Oklahoma Forestry Services and State Forester Mark Goeller. “We are fortunate to have someone as knowledgeable and experienced as Andy ready to step into that role. He will do a phenomenal job.”
A 22-year veteran of Oklahoma Forestry Services, James previously served as the area forester for Community Fire Assistance programs, providing assistance to rural fire departments and communities. Prior to that he has served in a variety of positions including leading the Southeast Area operations located in Broken Bow, service forester in Wilburton and district forester in Jay. Wildland firefighting has been a big component of all of his positions with Oklahoma Forestry Services.
Throughout his forestry career James has focused on wildland fire suppression and management, not only in eastern Oklahoma, but across the state as a task force leader, division supervisor and operations chief for the OFS Interagency Type 2 Incident Management Team.
“I am excited about the opportunity to represent Oklahoma Forestry Services on a state and national level,” said Andy James. “We have made great strides as a wildfire agency over the last few years and I look forward to continuing those efforts.”
In addition to his duties with Oklahoma Forestry Services, Andy is a member of the Northern Rockies National Type 1 Incident Management Team, and is qualified as an operations section chief, type 2 and an operations section chief, type 1 (trainee). He is also a member of the Fuels Management Committee of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group and the Oklahoma Statewide Mutual Aid Working Group.