Chief Parkes began his career with CAL FIRE in 1988 as a Fire Fighter 1 in the Lake Napa Unit (LNU), prior to the transition and inclusion of Sonoma. He worked as a Fire Apparatus Engineer and Fire Captain in fire stations throughout LNU and Nevada Yuba Placer (NEU), in both the Schedule A and B programs; Emergency Command Center, Training Bureau; and relief positions in Helitack and Air Attack. In 2007, Chief Parkes promoted to Battalion Chief of the Napa Battalion in the Sonoma Lake Napa Unit and in 2012, he promoted to Deputy Chief of Operations in LNU where he served during some of the most devastating fires and associated recovery efforts in California’s history. In 2022, he accepted the Assistant Deputy Director - Fire Protection Operations with oversight of the Aviation and Fleet programs where he had responsibility for the continued transition into our CAL FIRE HAWKS and acquisition of four additional; CAL FIRE’s first night flying operations; as well as an managing an unprecedented increase of over 600 vehicles in one year to the CAL FIRE fleet.

Chief Parkes has a diverse background that includes program management, aviation expertise and a strong operational background in incident response and incident management. He has numerous Incident Command System (ICS) qualifications and was a member of CAL FIRE’s Incident Management Teams for 11 years in the Operations Section.  From 2018 – 2022, Chief Parkes served as the Incident Commander of CAL FIRE IMT 5. He has served on many Departmental cadres, including Incident Management 3, C400 and coordinator of the C-234 Firing Methods & Procedures course and remains a qualified Air Tactical Group Supervisor. Chief Parkes has an Associate degree in Fire Science.