California Fire Assistance Agreement (CFAA)

As the Hog Fire in Lassen County continues to threaten Lake Forest Estates and the City of Susanville, the support of local government fire agencies for assistance is a critical aspect of the state’s ability to quickly and efficiently respond. The wildfire, which started Saturday, July 18, is currently burning in the state responsibility area and mutual aid firefighters and fire engines from Alameda County, as well as Contra Costa County, are on the front lines assisting. 

This assistance is possible through a partnership with the State of California along with federal fire agency partners called the California Fire Assistance Agreement (CFAA). This Agreement was signed May 1 and is effective through December 31, 2024.

“California Fire Assistance Agreement is a vital tool for deploying mutual aid fire resources for all-hazard emergencies,” said State Fire and Rescue Chief Brian Marshall. “This Agreement helps keep Californians safe by allowing for local government fire personnel and resources to be pre-positioned for critical weather related events such as Red Flag conditions, Santa Ana winds and/or severe rainfall.”

The CFAA outlines the negotiated reimbursement terms and conditions for local fire agency responses through the California Fire Service and Rescue Emergency Mutual Aid System. It allows the State of California and Federal Fire Agencies to utilize local government firefighting personnel and equipment and emergency assistance to the State of California and to Federal Fire Agencies.  

This Agreement also continues to allow the agencies to request the deployment of volunteer firefighters who respond to emergencies throughout the state. Volunteer firefighters make up more than 30% of available local government firefighting personnel in California. Key terms of the Agreement include fair and equitable reimbursement, transparency and ensuring for the needs of the California Fire Service.  

Agencies signing the new CFAA include:  

  • State of California, Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
  • State of California, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
  • United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
  • United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management
  • United States Department of Interior, National Park Service
  • United States Department of Interior, Fish and Wild fire Service
  • United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs

“We appreciate all of the hard work done by the CFAA Committee members to finalize this essential Agreement,” said Mark Ghilarducci, Director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.    

 Exhibits to the Agreement will continue to be reviewed, amended or added by the CFAA Committee through the course of the Agreement term as required.

The formal agreement can be found here (LINK).

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Elaine Kong

Elaine Kong is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Prior to joining Cal OES in 2020, Elaine was the Communications Director for the Vacaville Unified School District. Before her career in education, Elaine was a television news reporter covering stories in Texas and Ohio. She’s also a proud alumni of California State University, Fullerton. Go, Titans!

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