CAL FIRE firefighters respond to daily emergencies including wildland fires, structure fires, accidents, heart attacks, lost hikers, spills, train wrecks, floods and earthquakes. They protect over 31 million acres of California’s wildlands and provide emergency services in 36 of the state's 58 counties. CAL FIRE’s dedicated and well-trained personnel face and overcome daily challenges.


Our firefighters, fire engines and aircraft respond to wildland fires, and answer the thousands of calls for other emergencies each year.

Watch CAL FIRE crews in action protecting people, property, and natural resources when it matters most.

Fighting California’s Toughest Fires

California has experienced some of the worst wildfires in recent history, causing widespread destruction and significant loss of property. Some of the most notable include the Camp Fire in 2018, which destroyed the town of Paradise and had a significant impact on the local population, and the North Bay Fires in 2017, which had severe consequences and destroyed over 8,000 structures.

The New Normal

Climate change, drought conditions, and a buildup of dry vegetation have all contributed to the increase in wildfires. In 2020, over 9,000 wildfires burned over 4.2 million acres in California, causing widespread destruction and significant loss of life and property. As a result, CAL FIRE and other organizations have implemented various measures to reduce the risk of wildfires, including increased fire prevention efforts, better firefighting technology and resources, and community preparedness initiatives.

Cooperation is Key

Cooperative efforts between state, federal and local agencies are key in responding to emergencies such as wildfires, floods, earthquakes, spills and medical aids in California. CAL FIRE coordinates these efforts through contracts and agreements and may provide dispatch, paramedic, fire and rescue services in cities and towns across the state. As a result, firefighters and fire engines from different agencies may work together at an emergency scene under a unified command.

Learn More About Cooperative Fire

A CAL FIRE fixed wing aircraft sits on a tarmac
Our aviation program is the largest civil aerial firefighting fleet in the world with over 60 fixed and rotary wing aircraft. Based at 14 air tanker bases, 10 CAL FIRE helitack bases and one CAL FIRE/San Diego County Sheriff helitack base, the aircraft, skilled pilots, and aviation support staff respond to thousands of wildfires annually.
Two CAL FIRE Semi truck carrying bull dozers
The Mobile Equipment Facility in Davis, California is responsible for the design, acquisition, maintenance, repair, replacement and disposal of all CAL FIRE vehicles and local government equipment when requested. The facility ensures the best emergency response vehicles for CAL FIRE personnel and prioritizes capability, safety and reliability for all equipment.
Fire fighters train on ladders at the training center
CAL FIRE operates three state-of-the-art training centers in California for year-round training in fire protection and prevention, emergency response, law enforcement and natural resource systems. CAL FIRE provides training for its workforce and personnel from other fire protection and law enforcement agencies in various subjects including fire control, arson investigation, leadership, aviation, and specialized courses.
A CAL FIRE law enforcement officer leans into his vehicle
Our Law Enforcement personnel enforce forest and fire laws and conduct investigations into the cause of fires, with a focus on bringing arsonists to justice. They also pursue cases for civil cost recovery from individuals who are responsible for the cause of a fire. CAL FIRE Investigators respond to fires statewide to determine their cause and assist legal teams in preventing future incidents.