CAL FIRE serves as a full-service, “all-risk” department, capable of responding to a wide range of emergencies, including but not limited to medical aid, hazardous material spills, swift water rescues, search and rescue missions, civil disturbances, train wrecks, floods, earthquakes, and more. No matter where or when we are needed, we answer the call.

2023 Storm Response

This winter, CAL FIRE has been busy across the state preparing for and responding to weather-related incidents. This is an example of how we partner with counties to assist in removing downed trees and clearing roadways, creating safer areas for the public. Within five days during January, crews removed more than 100 trees from Sacramento County roadways.

View More Winter Response Photos

IMTs Activated in Response to storms

Storm Response and Recovery

Emergency Management

CAL FIRE’s organizational culture is built upon a total force concept, in which every employee in the Department, regardless of assigned role, plays an integral part in emergency response, public safety, resource management, watershed protection, and meeting the Department’s mission and goals. We work within the well-established Incident Command System (ICS) framework and manage any disaster event through four phases: Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery.

Incident Command Response

As a leader in major incident command response, CAL FIRE is often asked to assist or take the lead in other major disasters, including the 2003 and 2007 Southern California fire sieges; the N1H1 pandemic in 2009; the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion; the 2017 Oroville Dam disaster; the 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County; the fire siege and COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020; and the winter storms of 2023. CAL FIRE is a leader in disaster response emergencies and is ready to answer the call. 

We Train For

Search and Rescue

Search and rescues operations seek to locate, stabilize, and extract individuals in dangerous and remote conditions.

Automobile Accidents

We respond to thousands of vehicle accidents each year and are trained in extrication and on-scene medical aid.

Structure Fires

CAL FIRE supports local firefighting authorities to extinguish structure fires.

Wildland Fire Response

Each year, CAL FIRE responds to thousands of wildland fires that burn an average of a million acres.

Emergency Medical Response

CAL FIRE paramedics are often the first on scene at medical emergencies of all kinds. 

Swift Water Rescue

Teams are trained to pull people from swift water, which often flows faster after storms and heavy rains.