3540 Department of Forestry & Fire Protection
Program Descriptions


CAL FIRE provides fire protection to keep damages to life, property and natural resources within social, political and economic constraints. The objective is to quickly and aggressively attack all fires in areas where CAL FIRE has assumed primary direct protection responsibility by virtue of law, contract or agreement until the fire is under control. The level of initial attack and follow-up action is relative to values threatened and control difficulty with the goal to control all unwanted fires within the first burning period.

11.10 - Fire Prevention:
This program focuses on the most effective methods, materials and procedures to remove or mitigate physical risks and hazards and to enforce pertinent laws for the reduction of fire incidents. More specifically, efforts focus on what needs to be done before a wildland fire starts in order to reduce the costs of fire fighting, property loss, injury to fire fighters and damage to the environment.

11.30 - Fire Control:
The objective of this program is to detect, respond and suppress wildland fires in or threatening State Responsibility Areas. The heart of the effort is an aggressive initial attack strategy. CAL FIRE's goal is to contain 95 percent of all wildfires to 10 acres or less. This is achieved through detection, ground attack, air attack and mutual aid using fire engines, fire crews, bulldozers, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

11.40 - Cooperative Fire Protection:
CAL FIRE provides a full range of fire protection services to local, county, state and federal agencies throughout California through the administration of approximately 150 cooperative government agreements. Additionally, there are six long standing agreements wherein counties provide wildland fire protection on behalf of the Department.

11.60 - Conservation Camps:
CAL FIRE, in cooperation with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Divisions of Adult Operations and Juvenile Justice, operates 39 conservation camps throughout the state which house 196 fire crews. These crews provide one of the primary labor forces for firefighting, emergency response, and conservation related work projects.

11.80 - Emergency Fire Suppression:
CAL FIRE incurs additional emergency fire suppression expenditures when budgeted initial attack forces are unable to cope with a wildland fire within the initial attack period. Portions of these costs may be reimbursed in the fiscal year the expense was incurred or in a future fiscal year via Fire Management Assistance Grants provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or through cost shares provided by other government entities. In addition, CAL FIRE may recover portions of this cost through civil cost recovery actions authorized by state statutes.