Yakima city leaders will soon begin a search for a new fire chief after Chief Bob Stewart Announced his retirement February 28th. Not only is the chief retiring but Deputy Fire Chief Mark Soptich will also retire February 16th.
Stewart was named chief in June 2014 after having served as acting chief for six months prior to that. Stewart has spent his entire firefighting career with the Yakima Fire Department. The City hired Stewart, a U.S. Navy veteran, as a firefighter in 1988. During the past 30 years the Salem, Oregon native has been promoted to Yakima Fire Department lieutenant, shift captain, training captain, and deputy chief before being hired for the chief's post four years ago.
Soptich has been a Yakima Fire Department deputy fire chief since May 2012. Prior to that, he was fire chief/director of emergency services for the City of Oak Harbor for 23 years. A Selah High School graduate, Soptich's firefighting career has also included serving as deputy chief of the Selah Fire Department and firefighter/emergency medical technician for the Hanford Fire Department.

A retirement gathering for each will be held at:
Yakima Fire Department’s Training Center, 807 E Nob Hill Blvd. on February 16th and 28th from 2PM - 4PM.

• Deputy Fire Chief, Mark Soptich’s retirement will be held Friday February 16th, 2018 from 2PM to 4PM.

• Fire Chief, Bob Stewart’s retirement will be held Wednesday February 28th, 2018 from 2PM-4PM