LA mayor nominates Millage Peaks as next fire chief

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With four fires burning in the Los Angeles area, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa named Millage Peaks as his choice to be the next chief of the L.A. Fire Department. KPCC's Brian Watt reports from City Hall.

With a recession creating uncertain times for public services, Villaraigosa said, the Fire Department needs a leader who can manage decisively. He has chosen Battalian Chief Millage Peaks, a 33-year veteran of the Fire Department.

The L.A. Fire Commission interviewed 12 candidates to replace retiring Fire Chief Douglas Barry and sent the names of 4 finalists to the Mayor. Villaraigosa called the pool of candidates that produced Peaks stellar.

Millage Peaks acknowledged he was walking into a firestorm of budgetary woes at the Department, but he said he sees the crisis as an opportunity for change.

He’ll take over as acting chief on Monday until the City Council approves his nomination.

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