Skip Ribbon Commands Skip to main content
Main Title
Our Statement




John R. Hawkins:


CAL FIRE Riverside Unit Chief and


Riverside County Fire Chief



August 1, 2006 to Present


John R. Hawkins is the Fire Chief for the CAL FIRE Riverside Unit and the Riverside County Fire Department. Chief Hawkins was appointed as the Riverside County Fire Chief on August 1, 2006. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors selected and approved of Chief Hawkins for the County Fire Chief's position and assisted CAL FIRE in selecting the Chief.

Chief Hawkins oversees the integrated, cooperative, regional fire protection system with 97 fire stations, three camps, one air attack base and nearly 1,700 total personnel who responded to nearly 130,000 emergencies during 2012. Hawkins also serves as the Riverside County Operational Area Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid Coordinator and President of the Riverside County Fire Chief’s Association.

Hawkins is recognized by the Center for Public Safety Excellence as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO), certified California Fire Chief, certified Chief Fire Officer and a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program.
This is Chief Hawkins’ 50th year with CAL FIRE. He began his career with CAL FIRE in 1964 as a seasonal firefighter. He has worked through the ranks and held a variety of positions providing him with a well-rounded and diverse background. He understands the complexities of Riverside County and is prepared to meet the challenges of providing emergency services to the citizens we protect. During 2003, he served as the incident commander for the 2003 San Diego County Cedar Fire that burned 273,000 acres. He has overseen many Riverside County emergencies, developed and instructed many training courses, and participated on many fire service improvement projects.
Two of Hawkins’ three sons have followed him in the fire service. Hawkins is driven to improve operational excellence and leadership within the fire service. He frequently speaks before fire service groups advocating for improved incident command and strong interpersonal leadership.