Nampa firefighter returns from California, eager to help again

Image courtesy of the Nampa Fire Department
Posted at 3:58 PM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 18:27:43-04

BOISE, Idaho — It was a busy deployment for Nampa firefighter Jake Fuhriman. It was also his first.

"The fire would be out, and we would get really high temperatures and strong winds; they were called 'el diablo winds,' and when that would happen, new spot fires would pick up," said Fuhriman.

He worked around the clock, aiding California firefighters on the front lines.

"We were on 24-hour shifts, because the fire was still active so, during our 24-hour shifts, we'd work for 24 hours out on the fire line," said Fuhriman,

"Then, when we were off for 24 hours, it was basically just to catch up, get laundry done, eat, get the rig put back together, and then back to it the next day."

Jake deployed with two other Nampa firefighters. Their schedule became twelve hour days every day of the week. They'd help wherever needed, including the SCU Lightning Complex and the Mendocino Complex Fire. The camaraderie is something Nampa Deputy Chief Nick Adams says works both ways.

"We could have the same thing here, a major fire in the Treasure Valley, and we'd send that call for help and hope it'd come back," said Adams.

The firefighters sharpened the skills they need to work back in Idaho.

"It's kind of new for us; it's something we don't do a lot here. We do a lot of brush fires in our area," said Jake.

The three men spent 21 days in total helping out California. "We were there a lot longer than I thought, so we kind of lost track of days," said Jake.

Adams says another highlight is showing how frequently different fire departments work together.

"Just here in the Treasure Valley, we share a lot of resources day to day, emails back and forth, help each other, and it's neat our community gets to see that on a western scale too," said Adams.

Jake is happy to share his time, whenever it's needed, in the future.

"I would do it again. It was well worth it," said Fuhriman.

Another five Nampa firefighters are currently in Oregon. They're moving around, helping out, most recently working on the Holiday Farm Fire in Springfield. They've been deployed for four days and will help as needed.