Acting State Fire Marshal/Deputy Director, Community Wildfire Preparedness & Mitigation
Chief Berlant began his career with CAL FIRE in 2001 as a volunteer and was hired in 2002 in the Fire Prevention Bureau of the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit. In 2005, he began working in the CAL FIRE Communications Office as a Fire Prevention Specialist in Sacramento.
After several fire sieges and extensive work in the public information function, he was promoted in 2008 to Department Information Officer and was tasked with serving as CAL FIRE's main spokesperson. In 2014, he was promoted to the Chief of Public Information overseeing the Sacramento and Region staff of the Communications Office. In 2016, Chief Berlant was promoted to Assistant Deputy Director at the Office of the State Fire Marshal over the Wildfire Planning & Engineering, and Fire Engineering & Investigations Divisions.
The Deputy Director of Community Wildfire Preparedness and Mitigation is new to the Department after being established through the passage of Assembly Bill 9 (2021), which created the Community Wildfire Preparedness and Mitigation Division within the Office State Fire Marshal. The Division will be responsible for the policy and program leadership for Defensible Space, Home Hardening/WUI Building Codes, Land Use Planning, Fire Prevention Grants, Pre-Fire/Fire Plan, Utility Wildfire Mitigation, fire hazard/risk mapping, and incident reporting (CalFIRS/NFIRS). In addition, Chief Berlant will continue oversight of the OSFM Fire Engineering & Investigations Division responsible for fire protection related Licensing/Certification, Arson & Bomb, and Fireworks Enforcement/Disposal.
Chief Berlant holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis.