Currently, the state funds 68 fire stations, 82 fire trucks, 12 bulldozers, 10 firefighters and part of the 6 emergency response centers in the six counties. The California Department of Forest and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is responsible for fire protection in Areas of State Responsibility (SRA). SRA is located in 56 of California`s 58 districts and covers more than 31 million hectares. As part of the California Master Mutual Aid Agreement, CAL FIRE supports other in-state fire departments when ministry resources are available, regardless of the type of disaster. In exchange, CAL FIRE can, through the same agreement, access local government firefighters for assistance in fighting fires. The Governor`s Office of Emergency Services (OES) may also require CAL FIRE to assist in a non-fire emergency when the Governor has declared a state of emergency. This was the case during the 1993 Northridge earthquake and the 1997 national floods, when CAL FIRE provided flood control and incident management teams and logistical support services. When wildfires rage throughout the state and resources are limited, agreements with the California Military Department provide for California National Guard resources. These include the activation of the huge C-130 aircraft, known as the modular fighting airborne fire (MAFFS) system, helicopters, support personnel, communications equipment and other specialized resources. CAL FIRE makes funds available to the six counties for fire protection services, including law enforcement team salaries, guard posts, maintenance of firefighting facilities, fire assistants, pre-fire management positions, dispatch, special repairs and administrative services. The ministry`s budget also includes infrastructure improvements and increased firefighting requirements when fires exceed the initial attack. In most cases, SRA is directly protected by CAL FIRE, but in the districts of Kern, Los Angeles, Marin, Orange, Santa Barbara and Ventura, SRA fire protection is provided by counties under contract with CAL FIRE.
Known as “Contract Counties,” they protect 3.4 million hectares of SRA. The following cities have entered into fire safety agreements with CAL FIRE. Fire protection cooperation agreements can be applied to a large number of services, depending on the needs of a local government agency. CAL FIRE offers a service for all the cities listed below. Service for Riverside County cities is provided through cooperation agreements with Riverside County Fire. CAL FIRE offers a riverside County Fire service through a cooperation agreement. In a state as large and more populous as California, no emergency department can do everything. This is why cooperation on contracts and agreements between public, federal and local authorities is indispensable to respond to emergencies such as forest and structural fires, floods, earthquakes, leaks of dangerous substances and medical aid.
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