It is the mission of the Butte County Cooperative Fire Agencies to provide professional services to protect lives, property, and environment to those residing, working, or traveling within the unincorporated areas of Butte County, the Cities of Oroville, Biggs, Gridley, and the Town of Paradise.
 Meet Battalion Chief Shem Hawkins B2108

B2108 for Web smaller

I am the Battalion Chief assigned to command the Chico Air Attack Base.  The Air Attack Base is located at the Chico Airport, and has one air tanker (delivers fire retardant to the fireline) and one air attack (command and control aircraft) assigned.

My career began as a volunteer firefighter in Magalia in 1992, and I was hired as a seasonal firefighter for CAL FIRE in the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit later in the year.  While attending UC Davis, I worked as a student firefighter,  graduating in 1998 with a degree in Civil Engineering.  Shortly afterward, I earned my certification as a paramedic and promoted to Limited Term Engineer with CAL FIRE in the Nevada-Yuba- Placer Unit.

In 2001, I promoted to permanent Fire Apparatus Engineer in the Butte Unit, and worked in Battalions 4 and 5.  After several years, I transferred to work as a Paramedic in the community of Lincoln in the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit.  That assignment entailed serving on engines and ladder trucks working in a blend of urban and rural environments.  I then returned to the Butte Unit as a Fire Captain assigned to the Air Attack Base. 

In 2014, I promoted to the San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit as a Field Battalion Chief.  While in this position, I supervised several stations and participated in regional responses through a San Mateo County inter-agency boundary drop agreement that ensured the closest resources responded to emergencies, regardless of jurisdiction.  I am currently assigned to CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 3.

I’m proud to serve the people of Butte County, and welcome community members to visit the Air Attack Base during the summer to see our firefighting aircraft up close


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 Location and Hours

Butte County Fire
176 Nelson Avenue
Oroville CA, 95965

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm
Excludes Holidays

 Contact Fire


Butte County Fire

In an Emergency
Dial 9-1-1
Arson Hotline

Headquarters Main Office

Phone:    530.538.7111
Fax:        530.538.7401

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 Butte County Fire CALFIRE

Garrett Sjolund, Fire Chief

Bill Reid, Deputy Chief of Operations

Garrett Needles, Assistant Chief, Administration

Patrick Purvis, Assistant Chief, North Division

Byron Vance, Assistant Chief, Special Projects

Sean Norman, Assistant Chief, South Division

Chris Tenns, Assistant Chief, City of Oroville

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