What started as a seasonal Firefighters job to earn money to go to college in 1977 turned into a lifetime career for Cal Fire Nevada Yuba Placer Unit Chief Brad Harris. Harris served in multiple fire departments and two stints with Cal Fire starting back when Cal Fire was CDF and just a division.
Harris became Nevada Yuba Placer Unit Chief with Cal Fire in 2006. He says this year demonstrated how bad fire conditions have become in California.
Harris says normally when the days get shorter and the nights remain humid fire intensity decreases but we didn’t see that this year until it started raining. What people may not know is that firefighters are constantly monitoring air conditions.
As a result they spent a good deal of the summer in high dispatch level, meaning that they were going to send as much equipment as humanly possible to these fires when they started in attempts to keep them small.
After 37 years in fire service Harris retired from Cal Fire just last Friday. He received a special Certificate of Thanks from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. As for what’s next?
Cal Fire Division Chief Chris DeSena is serving as Interim Unit Chief until Harris’ successor is named, probably next month.