With more than 14 years of experience with forestry and wildland fire management, Wade Waters has been appointed fire chief for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry.
“Wade’s extensive experience in managing wildfire response in multiple states makes him an incredible asset to Tennessee,” Commissioner Jai Templeton said. “The Division of Forestry protects the state's forest resources through fire readiness, wildfire suppression, training volunteer firefighters, and fire prevention education.
I’m confident that Wade will be a strong leader in fulfilling each of those duties.”
As fire chief, Mr. Waters will manage all aspects of the division’s wildfire management programs in partnership with federal, state, and local organizations. He will also be responsible for programs and services that aim to minimize damage to Tennessee’s forests and the risk to the safety of the public and firefighters.
“With his past management roles, his familiarity with new technology, and his involvement with large and complex wildland fires, Wade will be an exceptional fire chief,” State Forester Jere Jeter said. “He is more than qualified for the position, and we are proud to have him join our team.”
Mr. Waters was first introduced to wildland fire management when he went to work for the U.S. Forest Service. He then gained experience as a regional fire management coordinator for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and as a supervisory forestry technician engine captain for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“I look forward to establishing new relationships with Division of Forestry personnel and our partners in fire management and emergency management,” Mr. Waters said. “I’m excited to address fire and fuels management issues through the appropriate supervision and expansion of various programs directed at assisting landowners. A lot of progress has been made in community protection programs, such as Firewise USA, and we need to build off of this as an agency and a state.”
Mr. Waters, a native of Rogers, Ar., graduated from the University of the Ozarks with a B.S. in Biology. He enjoys camping, coaching soccer, spending time outdoors, and watching sporting events with his family.