New manager has extensive fire background - and he's going to need it
The Inyo National Forest has a new Fire Management Officer, Larry Pingel, who will take the helm as the Inyo and the Sierra face another month to two months of fire weather.
Pingel was selected to replace Taro Pusina, who retired this summer.
“I am honored and thrilled to have been selected for this position. I look forward to joining the Inyo National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Bishop Field Office Fire Management Team,” Pingel said.
Pingel started with fire management in 1987 with the Oregon Department of Forestry. He worked with BLM in Southern Oregon in timber management, which also supporting fire, fuels, and aviation management. This experience helped Larry realize his passion for fuels management. “I came to realize that fire and fuels management was where I was supposed to be,” Pingel said.
He worked as a fuels lead for the Grants Pass Resource Area with BLM in Medford Oregon, as a Battalion Chief on the Kaibab National Forest, the Division Chief on the Modoc National Forest and at the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Pingel has also worked temporary assignments as the deputy fire and fuels management officer for Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, and as the forest fire management officer on the Lassen National Forest and the Tongass National Forest.
Pingel enjoys OHVing, hiking, golfing, camping, fishing, gardening and being outdoors.
Lesley Yen, forest supervisor, said Pingel’s experience in proactive fire management is needed as wildfire threats continue.