Brian Ballou recently retired after a 20-year career with the Oregon Department of Forestry. He was a public information officer and a fire prevention specialist and was stationed for eight years at ODF’s headquarters in Salem, and 12 years at the Southwest Oregon District headquarters in Central Point. For seven of those years, Ballou was a lead information officer on one of ODF’s incident management teams. In 2015, Ballou received a Bronze Smokey Bear award for his service to wildland fire prevention in southwest Oregon.

Prior to joining ODF, Ballou was a seasonal firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service, working on the Willamette, Siuslaw, Winema and Rogue River national forests. He was also the founding editor of “Wildland Firefighter,” a trade magazine.

Ballou is married to Lynn Anderson, and they have one son, Ross. They live in Medford.