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California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

From July 1 through Dec. 31, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spent $15,642,736 on its five largest buys, which were primarily related to communications.
State and local technology leaders discuss their organizations’ work and offer best practices for migrating to the cloud.
As part of Industry Insider — California’s ongoing efforts to inform readers about state agencies, their IT plans and initiatives, here’s the latest in our periodic series of interviews with departmental IT leaders.
Industry Insider — California’s One-on-One interview series with a spectrum of state and local IT leaders has been publishing nearly every week since June 2020. These are the five most-read conversations of 2023.
“I am thrilled to join HiPER, a company that uniquely aligns with my expertise in project management, procurement and governance,” Russ Nichols told Industry Insider — California. “In today’s landscape of budget constraints and soaring expectations, the synergy between my skill set and HiPER’s tools is paramount.”
“The person in this role will provide leadership and direct teams across multiple disciplines and has full management responsibility for organizing, planning, directing, coordinating, and managing all IT operations,” according to the job posting and duty statement.
State departments focused on health care, technology, transportation and fire management are recruiting for these key positions.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is in the early stages on a new system that will enable it to be more comprehensive about safeguarding Northern California communities while keeping wildlands resilient.
Time magazine has recognized California’s use of an AI smoke-detection tool, developed in partnership between the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and UC San Diego’s ALERTCalifornia network.
Because the AI’s training is based on a yes-no binary, each time a CAL FIRE official confirms that what the system has identified is indeed a fire, it gets that much smarter.
The positions are with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the California Department of Technology.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s five largest transactions for IT services during the year’s first six months topped $24 million and included private-sector technology assistance and mobile connectivity maintenance.
The new chief information officer said he has two priorities: Use “existing resources efficiently and effectively in order to meet the needs of our partners” and “innovate the way we do business by boosting IT skill sets.”
The automated BurnBot RX1 tool is being watched by state and federal agencies for potential use in prescribed burns, a pre-emptive practice designed to hamper the spread of wildfires by pre-burning swaths of combustible land.
The State of Technology: California Industry Forum on Thursday will offer attendees a variety of perspectives from technology leaders across state government.
CAL FIRE Sonoma-Lake-Napa Chief Mike Marcucci said the artificial intelligence component “is truly another tool in the toolbox.”
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is seeking a procurement and customer service manager, and the Department of Toxic Substances Control is seeking a principal data architect.
Candidates are sought for positions including chief, analyst, information security specialist, IT procurement specialist and manager.
The state’s fire department is updating its strategic plan for next year, due to be rolled out in summer 2024. The new CIO, who will also serve as assistant deputy director for technology, is key to that effort.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has transformed its Information Technology Services unit to include IT practice, telecommunications, and research, development and innovation. The department onboarded its first-ever Deputy Director of Technology Scott Gregory in 2020, is working to change the user experience for staff and members of the public, and has made strides on tech projects involving fire detection and prediction.
The state department’s five largest transactions in this area reached the low eight figures.
The state of California has been recognized for its technology work by the biennial 2022 Digital States Survey from the Center for Digital Government.
The plan calls for $5,670,102 to be allotted for a communications tower, software and dispatch systems furniture for the San Luis Obispo County facility.
This state department spent just more than $3.5 million during the second quarter of 2022 on its five largest purchases of IT goods.
The chief information officer’s latest career move will see her join a local company. She came to the state in early 2020 as California grappled in earnest with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The requests from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection are among 39 budget change proposals, several of which would pay for IT projects.
Six key state departments are seeking managers and specialists for oversight roles. Three of these are branch chief recruitments within one department.
It’s far from a final approved act, but Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2022-2023 Fiscal Year state budget would spend millions to continue existing technology initiatives and begin new projects.
State entities seeking candidates include those related to technology, cannabis control, emergency operations and fire prevention.
Available positions include information security officer, IT manager and senior business analyst/architect.
“My goal is to build automation of the infrastructure,” Shamal Siwan says, “to create the DevSecOps culture that is taking security requirements and putting that into a DevOps mindset where automation is the key to unite people, so that everybody follows the same process … so we can ship faster, better, and avoid outages.”
State lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom didn’t just focus on broadband and cybersecurity this session. The governor recently signed several other bills of interest to the technology sector that run the gamut from wildfire tech to personal information.
Marybel Batjer, a former secretary of the Government Operations Agency, took over the top job at the California Public Utilities Commission in August 2019. Her term wasn’t due to expire until 2027.
Several bills signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom would provide funding for technology modernization and bring some additional oversight.
The Best of California Awards during the California Virtual Digital Government Summit acknowledged high-achieving state IT officials and significant recent IT projects.
The state Legislature sent several bills with potential significance to IT vendors to Gov. Gavin Newsom for a signature.
The Legislature’s timeframe to pass bills this session is getting very short but several significant pieces of proposed technology and innovation legislation are still alive. Others, though, are no longer active.
The proposed legislation, from state Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, is aimed at driving public-private collaboration on IT that can help authorities grapple with natural disasters like California’s historic wildfires.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s portion of the new Fiscal Year 2021-2022 state budget should enable it to continue its work in IT and innovation.
Departments are seeking to hire a data center chief, a branch chief, a senior technical adviser/developer, and a network engineer.
Officials at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and other entities are working with the Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and technology companies on doing more to spot wildfires.
“Akamai’s outage impacted CAL FIRE and seven other state government websites,” California Department of Technology spokeswoman Amy Norris told The Sacramento Bee. The data resources provider was able to correct the problem, which it said was not the result of a cyber attack.