Amador-El Dorado Unit Cal Fire Chief Kelly Keenan to retire Dec. 22
Leaving behind a career of over 30 years is often a “no brainer,” but leaving a lifetime of public service can be tough. Amador-El Dorado Unit Chief Kelly Keenan will retire Dec. 22 with a little trepidation.
“I have spent most of my adult life dedicated to a career with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and I wouldn’t change a thing. It has been an amazing journey taking me from traditional forestry work, to overseeing an inmate conservation camp, to running a Unit spanning five counties,” said Keenan, who added, “I have always approached my job with the belief that you treat people the way you want to be treated. I hope that I have left a legacy of balanced and sensible management of my staff and unit, prudent collaboration with our cooperators and a passion for public service while taking my turn as unit chief of the Amador-El Dorado Unit.”
Keenan began his career in 1982 with then CDF Coast Region Headquarters, where he worked a forest protection assignment in the South Bay area as a seasonal forestry aide. In 1983, he went to the Jackson State Demonstration State Forest in the Mendocino Unit as a forestry aide where he worked on the Caspar Creek Experimental Watershed project and prepared timber harvest plans. He was promoted in 1988 to the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit where he worked as an area forester, vegetation management program coordinator, unit forester and interim unit administrative officer. In 2004, Keenan accepted an assistant chief position in the Amador-El Dorado Unit in charge of North Division Operations and the Growlersburg Conservation Camp. In 2011, Keenan was promoted to unit chief for the Amador-El Dorado Unit.
During his career, Keenan has served on Cal Fire Incident Command teams in a variety of positions over the years. Most recently he was the Incident Commander of Incident Command Team 1. He has also served on numerous working groups and cadres in both Fire Protection and Resource Management programs. Keenan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Cal Poly State University, is a 24-year veteran Peace Officer and a California Registered Professional Forester.