Tony Nielsen has been named fire chief of Spokane County Fire District 8, which begins at the southern boundaries of Spokane and Spokane Valley. Nielsen has been serving as acting chief since former Fire Chief Bill Walkup retired in May.
Nielsen has worked for the district on and off since 1984 when he was an Explorer volunteer cadet. He left in 1987 to work in Kootenai County, returning to District 8 in 1989 as a resident firefighter. He worked at the Port Angeles Fire Department from 1991 to 2003, after which he returned to District 8 as the training division chief. He was serving as the deputy chief of operations when he was promoted to acting chief.