First-of-its-kind fund provides support and protection for prescribed fire and cultural burning, reducing wildfire risks in California

One of the primary obstacles to increasing the pace and scale of beneficial fire use in California is the difficulty for practitioners to obtain adequate liability coverage, although the rates and losses from escapes are very low. Public Resource Code (PRC) sections 4500 and 4503 establish the Prescribed Fire Liability Fund Pilot Program (Fund). Guidelines have been established by a collaborative group of state agencies, prescribed fire practitioners, burn bosses, and cultural fire practitioners. Enrollment in the Fund is achieved by completing the California Prescribed Fire Claims Fund Online Application. Claims and questions can be sent to

What's a Prescribed Fire?

As a land management tool, prescribed fire is an efficient and cost-effective way to reduce fuels where physical and social conditions are conducive to its use.
The California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force issued a Strategic Plan for Expanding the Use of Beneficial Fire to expand the use of prescribed fire and cultural burning to build forest and community resilience statewide – efforts critical to forest management and wildfire mitigation.
A landowner cooperator program that focuses on the use of prescribed fire, and some mechanical means, for addressing wildland fire fuel hazards and other resource management issues on State Responsibility Area (SRA) lands.  The VMP allows private landowners to enter into a contract with CAL FIRE to use prescribed fire to accomplish a combination of fire protection and resource management goals. 
Prescribed fire use is a key tool for CAL FIRE and its cooperators to use in reducing fuels at a landscape scale. This guidebook documents the VMP requirements, processes, and forms. In addition, it provides guidelines on how and where to apply the VMP process, addresses CEQA compliance and explains project documentation requirements.
CAL FIRE and our local grantees are removing overgrown vegetation through prescribed fire, tree thinning, pruning, chipping, and roadway clearance. These efforts create breaks that change fire behavior, reduce negative ecosystem impacts, and enable fire fighters to protect communities.

We can get more prescribed fire on the ground by cooperating with our partners (video). These resources are intended to help you connect with skilled partners to develop collaborative burns.

Partners to reach out to plan a collaborative burn in your unit:

Len Nielson

Staff Chief - Prescribed Fire