California State Fire Marshal Mike Richwine announces retirement after 42-year career

State Fire Marshal, Michael J. Richwine, announced his retirement from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Office of the State Fire Marshal, after a 42-year career, including 36 years with the department. Richwine was appointed State Fire Marshal by Governor Gavin Newsom on May 15, 2020, after serving as the Assistant State Fire Marshal from 2012 to 2018. As State Fire Marshal, Richwine oversaw a staff of more than 220 employees.

“Among many things, one of my proudest career achievements was leading the Office of the State Fire Marshal and overhauling the California Fire Service Training and Education System — a state fire training certification and education program — including aligning it with national training standards and national and international accreditation of the firefighter program,” reflected Richwine. “Through this important work, we continue to find ways to innovate, set the bar high and prepare the next generation of fire professionals in California.

Richwine’s 42-year fire service career began with the Hanford Fire Department. He has since risen through the ranks and held a variety of fire prevention and training positions within the Office of the State Fire Marshal, including, Fire Service Training Specialist, Deputy State Fire Marshal within Fire and Life Safety, Hazardous Materials and Pipeline Safety Divisions, Chief of State Fire Training, and Chief of the Fire Engineering Division. Richwine also served as a member on CalFire’s Incident Management Teams for six years and holds numerous professional certifications.

“My hope for the future is that the Office of the State Fire Marshal continues its tradition of working collaboratively with its many partners and continues to communicate effectively. That is what I have preached on a regular basis — up and down and across our entire organization,” said Richwine.

The mission of the State Fire Marshal is to protect life and property through the development and application of fire prevention engineering, education, and enforcement. The Office of the State Fire Marshal supports the mission of CalFire by focusing on fire prevention and providing support through a wide variety of fire safety responsibilities through Code Development and Analysis, Community Wildfire Preparedness and Mitigation, Fire and Life Safety, Fire Engineering and Investigations, Pipeline Safety and Certified Unified Program Agency, and State Fire Training.

During his retirement, Richwine is looking forward to spending time with his wife, a retired elementary school teacher, and their children and grandchildren. His last day with the Department will be Dec. 30 2022.