With its vast size and population, California requires a coordinated effort from multiple agencies to effectively respond to emergencies such as wildland and structure fires, floods, earthquakes, hazardous material spills, and medical aids. That is why the CAL FIRE Cooperative Fire Protection Program plays a crucial role in bringing state, federal, and local agencies together through contracts and agreements.

 

These agreements allow CAL FIRE to be the lead agency in providing fire, rescue, dispatch, and paramedic services to cities and towns in California that are not designated as state responsibility. This unified command relationship ensures that all resources are utilized to the fullest potential during emergencies, leading to greater success in response efforts. The CAL FIRE Cooperative Fire Protection Program staff are dedicated to coordinating these agreements and contracts, ensuring that emergency response in California is carried out smoothly and effectively.

Volunteer Fire Capacity (VFC) Grant

The Volunteer Fire Capacity (VFC) Program is a federally funded grant program that allows California to provide local and rural fire departments with minor firefighting, training, communications and safety equipment for their volunteer firefighters. The VFC Program is not intended for major equipment (fire engines, vehicles, etc.) or Capital repairs. The VFC Program has a 50/50 match requirement which means that the applying department must be able to meet the intended grant award, dollar for dollar. Awards for departments are set at a minimum of $500 with a maximum of $20,000. Amounts may be adjusted based on the grant funding available. For additional information please contact Megan Esfandiary at Megan.Esfandiary@fire.ca.gov or Bryan Giambrone at Bryan.Giambrone@fire.ca.gov.

Applications open through May 4, 2023 11:59 pm PST

Under what is known as the California Master Mutual Aid Agreement, CAL FIRE assists other fire departments within the State when local resources are depleted and Department resources are available, regardless of the type of disaster. In turn, CAL FIRE can access the local government fire departments through the same agreement for assistance in wildland fire suppression.

The Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) can also request CAL FIRE assistance with non-fire emergencies when the Governor has declared a State of Emergency. Such was the case during the Northridge earthquake of 1993, Napa earthquake of 2014, floods of 1997 and the Oroville Dam incident in 2017 when CAL FIRE provided flood-fighting crews and incident management and logistical support services.

When California is under siege with wildland fires across the state and resources are stretched thin, agreements with our local government cooperators through the California Fire Assistance Agreement (CFAA) and the California Military Department provide for California National Guard resources. The local government agencies provide personnel and equipment throughout the state and the National Guard provide Fire Crews, C-130 aircraft known as Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS), water dropping and medical rescue helicopters, support personnel, communications equipment, and other specialized resources.

Since the 1940s, local government entities such as cities, counties and districts have contracted with CAL FIRE to provide many forms of emergency services for their communities. CAL FIRE provides full-service fire protection to many of the citizens of California through the administration of 118 cooperative fire protection agreements in 31 of the State's 58 counties, 39 cities, 25 fire districts and 42 other special districts and service areas. As a full-service fire department CAL FIRE responds to wildland fires, structure fires, floods, hazardous material spills, swift water rescues, civil disturbances, earthquakes, and medical emergencies of all kinds. Local governments are able to utilize this diversity and experience through their contracts and agreements with the Department.

Counties

Alameda Humboldt Napa Santa Clara Trinity
Alpine Lassen Nevada Santa Cruz Tuolumne
Amador Madera Placer San Luis Obispo Yuba
Butte Mariposa Riverside Shasta
Calaveras Mendocino San Bernardino Siskiyou
El Dorado Merced San Diego Sonoma
Fresno Monterey San Mateo Tehama


Cities

The following Cities have Cooperative Fire Protection Agreements with CAL FIRE. Cooperative Fire Protection Agreements can be for a wide variety of services depending upon a local government entities needs. CAL FIRE provides service to all the cities listed below. Service provided to cities within Riverside County is provided through cooperative agreements with Riverside County Fire. CAL FIRE provides service to Riverside County Fire through a cooperative agreement.

Auburn Eastvale Moreno Valley Rancho Mirage Willows
Atwater Grass Valley Menifee Red Bluff Yucaipa
Banning Gridley Morgan Hill Rubidoux
Beaumont Highland Norco San Jacinto
Biggs Indian Wells Oroville St. Helena
Calistoga Indio Palm Desert Soledad
Coachella Jurupa Valley Paradise Temecula
Desert Hot Springs La Quinta Perris Ukiah
Lake Elsinore Madera Pismo Beach Wildomar


Fire Protection Districts

The following Fire Protection Districts have Cooperative Fire Protection Agreements with CAL FIRE. Cooperative Fire Protection Agreements can be for a wide variety of services depending upon a local government entities needs.

Arcata East Contra Costa Lockwood South Monterey Coast
Aromas Tri County Elk Creek Meeks Bay South Santa Clara County
Cachagua Fresno County North Sonoma Coast Squaw Valley
Cloverdale Hamilton City North Tahoe Truckee
Coastside Higgins Pajaro Valley
Cypress Kanawha San Diego County
Deer Springs Kelseyville South Lake County


County Service Areas

The following County Service Areas (CSA) have Cooperative Fire Protection Agreements with CAL FIRE. Cooperative Fire Protection Agreements can be for a wide variety of services depending upon a local government entities needs. 

Fresno/Shaver Lake #31 Sonoma/Sea Ranch #40
Pajaro Dunes #1 Sonoma/Wilmar #40
San Mateo #1

 

Community Service Districts

The following Community Service Districts have Cooperative Fire Protection Agreements with CAL FIRE. Cooperative Fire Protection Agreements can be for a wide variety of services depending upon a local government entities needs.

Avila Beach Morongo Valley
Cameron Park Newberry Springs
Dagget North Bay Fire
Groveland Pebble Beach
Loma Rica/Browns Valley Yermo


Water Districts

The following Water Districts have Cooperative Fire Protection Agreements with CAL FIRE. Cooperative Fire Protection Agreements can be for a wide variety of services depending upon a local government entities needs.

Arrowbear County Water District Nevada County Fire Planner
Butte County-Enhanced Hazard Abatement Ramona MWD
Metropolitan Water District


Others

Firenet Lassen Sierra-Sac Valley EMS
Northstar Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital
Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint College District


Wildland Fire Agreements

The following Cities have Wildland Fire Protection Agreements with CAL FIRE. These agreements augment existing city fire department resources specifically for wildland fire fighting services.

Anaheim Jurupa Valley Rocklin
Beaumont Lake Elsinore Shasta Lake
Calimesa Lincoln Tiburon
Chino Loma Linda Truckee
Chino Valley Independent Murrieta Wildomar
Colton Rancho Cucamonga Yucaipa
Highland Redlands

 

The largest of CAL FIRE's cooperative programs involves an agreement for the exchange of fire protection services with the five federal wildland fire agencies, which includes the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Parks Service (NPS) Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The purpose of the CFMA is to improve efficiency by having access to federal personnel, equipment, supplies, services, information throughout the United States to help in times of disaster, when Department resources are depleted. In turn, CAL FIRE provides assistance, through interstate compact agreements to the federal and other state wildfire agencies throughout the nation. This agreements focus is on wildland fires, but if an all-hazard emergency or disaster is Presidentially‚ÄźDeclared the CFMA is an avenue to utilize our federal cooperators.  Additionally, having the closest agency respond to a wildfire, regardless of jurisdiction better service the citizens of California and the CAL FIRE mission.

The CAL FIRE Crew Program operates in conjunction with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) and the California National Guard (CNG) to staff Fire Crews in accordance with their respective master interagency agreements. CAL FIRE is currently authorized to operate 30 CAL FIRE Firefighter Crews, 26 CCC Fire Crews, 4 Parolee Fire Crews and 14 CMD Fire Crews, providing a total of 1,956 firefighters statewide. These crews are available to respond to all types of emergencies including wildfires, floods, search and rescue, and earthquakes. When not responding to emergencies, the crews engage in hazardous fuels reduction and prescribed fire project work to protect the community and resources of California.