3540 Department of Forestry & Fire Protection
Program Descriptions


The Department provides for a system of basic fire protection to keep damages to life, property and natural resources at or below a level acceptable within social, political and economic constraints. The objective is to quickly and aggressively attack all fires in areas where the Department has assumed primary direct protection responsibility by virtue of law, contract or mutual understanding and to continue aggressive suppression operations 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 intent 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. The Department'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:
The Department provides a full range of fire protection to local, county, state and federal agencies throughout California through the administration of 146 cooperative agreements in 35 of the state's 58 counties, 25 cities, 31 fire districts and 34 other special districts and service areas. Additionally, there are agreements with six counties that provide wildland fire protection on behalf of the Department.

11.60 - Conservation Camps:
The Department, 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 responses, and conservation related work projects.

11.80 - Emergency Fire Suppression:
The Department incurs additional emergency fire suppression expenditures when budgeted initial attack forces are unable to cope with a wildland fire within the initial attack period, when extreme fire conditions exist and when mutual aid requests from other government authorities are fulfilled.