For inhabitants of California's wooded lands, wildfires are a simple reality of life. It is not a question of if, but when. Preparing and planning for the moment wildfire starts is essential. Some of these organizations listed here may be folded into larger organizations also listed, making them seem like sub-divisions or subsidiaries, but they are worth breaking out individually to highlight the specialized services they offer to communities for wildfire prevention resources and training. Certain state-based organizations are very community-oriented in their approach to the task of preparation and engagement of fires in California's wooded areas.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection – generally known as CAL FIRE – is a leading institution in the state for the protection of the wooded land areas and the prevention of forest fires. It is also the largest full-service all-risk fire department in the Western United States and operates more fire stations year-round than the New York (FDNY), Los Angeles (LAFD), and Chicago (CFD) fire departments combined. The emphasis for some of these organizations is prevention and education -- but not actual fighting of fires that break out. This directory listing which provides contact information of the organizations will place an emphasis on organizations residing in the state of California.
Organizations for fire safety prevention and planning
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
1416 9th Street, PO Box 944246, Sacramento, California 94244-2460
The Department provides varied emergency services in 36 of the State's 58 counties via contracts with local governments. This makes them the lead agency for protection and stewardship of over 31 million acres of California's privately-owned wooded areas. The Department's firefighters, fire engines, and aircraft respond to an average of more than 5,600 wildland fires each year.
California Fire Alliance
Contact through: Bureau of Land Management California State Office
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1623, Sacramento, California 95825
Phone: 520-799-8748; 916-978-4400
The California Fire Alliance is a collaborating partner of the California Wildland Fire Coordinating Group (CWCG) It collaborates with communities/stakeholders to identify wildfire threats to community values, develop and support strategies to engage communities, and work with them to create fire-adapted communities and resilient landscapes. This organization operates the Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP) that enables communities to plan how they will reduce the risk of wildfire. Plans identify strategic sites and methods for fuel reduction projects across the landscape and jurisdictional boundaries. Maintains a frequently updated list of current minor and major CAL FIRE wildfire incidents in California at this link: http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Current-Fire-Information/
California Fire Safe Council (CFSC)
CFSC Glendora Office
502 West Route 66, Suite 17, Glendora, California 91740
Phone: 866-372-2543; 626-335-7426
California Fire Safe Council (CFSC) is a 501(c)(3) California non-profit corporation, that was formed as a committee of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) (now known as CAL FIRE) in 1993. Its original intent was to bring together governmental agencies and corporations to provide education to the residents of California on the dangers of wildfires and how they could be prevented. Since its beginnings, it has evolved into what is a Grants Clearinghouse to local community groups such as fire-safe councils and homeowner associations, local government, fire departments, and other entities focused on wildfire prevention activities. In addition to grant disbursement duties, it provides technical assistance to local groups with similar missions, assisting them in both education in wildfire issues and in organizational issues. Workshops and one-day conferences are offered throughout the state on relevant topics several times each year, and, CFSC provides daily information and updates on topics relevant to its constituents through its e-news stream and website.
Chart for an idealized county-wide fire safe council
Cal OES - Governor's Office of Emergency Services
2524 Mulberry Street, Riverside, California 92501
Phone: 951-320-6198; 925-672-4853; Fax: 916-845-8396
The Cal OES Operations (Ops) Section under the Fire and Rescue Division coordinates The California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System. The California Fire Service and Rescue Emergency Mutual Aid Plan is an extension of, and supportive document to, the California Emergency Plan and it has many facets to it, which include, but are not limited to: annual training and/or exercises between plan participants, establishing a plan and communication facilities for the interchange and dissemination of fire and rescue-related data, establish guidelines for recruiting and training auxiliary personnel to augment regularly organized fire and rescue personnel during disaster operations, formulate plans for the expedient mobilization and response of available fire and rescue resources on a local, area, regional, and statewide basis.
Fire Districts Association of California (FDAC)
700 R Srreet, Suite 200, Sacramento, California 95811
Phone: 800-829-4309; 916-231-2941; Fax: 916-231-2141
The Fire Districts Association of California provides legislative advocacy, educational information, member services, and informational resources to assist districts that perform fire protection services. It sets up programs, services, and classes to help the districts they serve and their personnel and representatives become more successful and effective. Aside from fire prevention education, tools and resources, a bedrock operation for the FDAC is to provide its members with representation and advocacy in California’s legislature. It will challenge laws that are felt to negatively impact member districts and advocate for, support, and introduce laws that are to their member district's benefit.
Email: contact form
NFPA's Firewise Communities Program
7071 Warner Avenue, Suite F400, Huntington Beach, California 92647-4000
Phone: 617-984-7486; 714-375-9045
The National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Firewise Communities Program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from the risk of wildfire. The program is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters. It's Wildfire Preparedness program outlines what the experts know about the best way to make your home and neighborhood safer from wildfire. From the basics of defensible space and sound landscaping techniques to research on how homes ignite for better prevention.
Email: contact form;
Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC)
1215 K Street, Suite 1650 Sacramento, California 95814
The core of RCRC’s mission is to improve the ability of small, rural California county government to provide services by reducing the burden of state and federal mandates, and promoting a greater understanding among policymakers about the unique challenges that face California's small population counties. Issues it would advocate on behalf of would include land use, water, and natural resources, housing, transportation, wildfire protection policies, and health and human services. RCRC has-supported Assembly Joint Resolution 18 that calls on the State of California to support the federal bill H.R. 167 (Simpson, R-ID and Schrader, D-OR) - the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (WDFA). The WDFA would change the way wildfire disasters are funded. The ultimate goal of the WDFA is to help protect fire prevention and forest management money from being used on firefighting costs.
Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA)
25030 SW Parkway Avenue, Suite 330 Wilsonville, Oregon 97070
Phone: 800-342-2034; 800-785-3473
The WFCA supports, promotes, and develops Chief Fire Officers in the ten western states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington) and the US territory of Guam that comprise the Western Division of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and strengthens the agenda for prevention, control, fire mitigation, life safety, and present and detectable hazards. Primarily through education and training it supports the ability of fire and emergency services and allied professionals to deal more effectively with fire and related emergencies. Free training courses and programs are delivered via the campus in Emmitsburg, Maryland, online and throughout the nation.
Wildfire Prevention Volunteers
P.O. Box 2582, Running Springs, California 92382
Assists the USDA Forest Service in its mission, specifically serving the San Bernardino National Forest through public education and participation in community events. Fields teams that are activated during major incidents in the Inland Empire/Southern California area. During a fire, these teams assist at the air tanker base, with signing people in at fire camps and with fire information phone lines.
Email: contact form
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California fire safety and prevention resources