May Revision CAL FIRE Budget.


I read that the Mat Revision includes FF’2 on State CF B engines. 13 to be exact. I was wondering if anyone heard about possible 4-0 staffing?


All is quiet… in fact if nothing changes, CALFIRE will have less FF1s this season than last season.


2019-2020 CAL FIRE Budget Revisions:


Increasing Fire Prevention—$213.6 million from various funds to (1) complete more fuel reduction projects through the operation of prescribed fire crews and grants for forest health projects, (2) implement the recently enacted wildfire prevention and recovery legislative package, which streamlines regulatory barriers for fuel reduction projects, and (3) dispose of illegal and dangerous fireworks

Enhancing Aviation Resources—$120.8 million General Fund to add aircraft with increased tactical capabilities to CAL FIRE’s aviation fleet to meet the challenges associated with more severe wildfire activity. Specifically, the Budget includes $11.4 million General Fund for the first year of operating the large air tankers that will be transferred from the U.S. Air Force. Federal legislation authorized the transfer of seven C-130 air tankers to CAL FIRE, and the Budget assumes that one to two planes will be transferred each year beginning in 2019-20. The Budget also includes $109.4 million General Fund to continue the replacement of CAL FIRE’s Vietnam War-era helicopters with new state-of-the art helicopters.

Expanding Firefighting Surge Capacity—$64.4 million General Fund to enhance CAL FIRE’s fire protection capabilities, including resources to (1) add 13 new year-round fire engines that will be located in areas of the state with the highest fire risk, (2) expand heavy fire equipment operator staffing to support CAL FIRE’s bulldozer operations during emergency wildfire events, (3) accelerate the replacement of fire engines and other mobile equipment to address increased wear and tear on

CAL FIRE’s vehicles resulting from the longer fire season, and (4) operate five additional CAL FIRE/California Conservation Corps fire crews.

Supporting our Emergency Responders—$6.6 million from various funds to expand CAL FIRE’s health and wellness program and to provide medical and psychological services, as well as peer support, to firefighters. Catastrophic wildfires are creating an environment where first responders are working longer hours and days to mitigate these incidents, while also focusing on evacuations in the early hours of fires to get citizens safely out of harm’s way. Personnel are CAL FIRE’s most valuable asset, and maintaining their long-term health and well-being allows them to be ready for the next emergency.

Improving Use of Technology—$9.7 million General Fund for (1) dedicated staff to review data gathered via remote sensing technology, situational awareness software and satellite imagery, which will support CAL FIRE’s incident commanders in developing more effective initial and extended attack fire suppression strategies during wildfire events, and (2) 100 additional fire detection cameras that will be linked into the existing command centers to provide additional data on conditions.

So basically more fuels reduction and more crews for that purpose, continue the transferring of C-130’s to CF fleet at about 2 a year, continue adding S70i’s helicopters to fleet, add 13 new engines with crews to be placed where needed, hire 34 new HFEO’s (dozer operators) to keep all dozers covered 24/7, and speed up replacement of CF equipment as they are needed, not having to wait 15 plus years before replacement.

Also add 5 new CCC Crews throughout the state (Ventura and Butte as example), money for heath and wellness, about time. Hire 1 person, are they kidding???, to review data from online applications to create strategies to fight these fires, and oh yeah add 100 online cameras to help the ECC’s in determining if they do in fact have a fire.

Does not mention removing the FFI’s and replacing them with FFII series for all of CAL FIRE wildland engines, but that is the direction the Union and past director was looking at previously. Nor does it talk about an additional FF on each engine, but we all know they need one, really 2 more per engine.

Here is the link to CF’s budget. (


6.6 million to support emergency responders. Obviously implementation is the key to most everything, however you have to give it up to the State for recognizing this need for Firefighters.

That’s the difference between a fully recognized professional fire agency, and agencies that identify employees as forestry technicians.

We’re at a crossroads. Time is now. We either fight to bring about the change we want to see, leave to a real fire agency or continue to accept the vision that non fire leaders have for their forestry technicians.


What forestry technicians are you referring to?


Federal firefighters are technically, forestry technicians. Job series 0462

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I understand that most federal firefighters are classified as forestry technicians, but this thread is talking about the CALFIRE May Revise. I was just curious who Milehighbar was referring to in his comment above.


Maybe I’m beating a dead horse or getting off subject here…he was just saying it is a good thing Cal Fire recognizes the funds needed, unlike other agencies who categorize firefighters as forestry technicians…


Forest Service, BLM firefighters. Kind of weird when you think about the use of terms.


Link to budget is below
Doesn’t show 4/0 staffing

Shows staffing for 13 year round engines
9 FC
41 FAE
81 FF2

Shows staffing for additional crews
1 BC
20 FC
1 Mechanic

Shows staffing for additional HFEO’s (new positions)
34 HFEO’s

Hope this answers the questions.

3540.pdf (124.6 KB)


I’m guess they are going to fun new dozers? And hot crap! Looks like they will need hire like hell on top of the yearly turnover. Interesting to see FF2’s on that list.


No new dozers in the budget. If you look at 45 report released in March it mentions additional HFEO Positions to provide relief for existing HFEO’s. The current staffing is 2.67 HFEO’S per tractor and the new staffing will be over 3 per tractor to provide for relief.

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Hopefully, they are required to stay at the station for a more timely response. Many a time they could’ve helped on cutting the workload down for some engines at night in my area.

To clarify. Dozer ops in Cal Fire are allowed to be away from the station at night, this delay has figured into whether I as an IC have wanted to wait until they get there, or order up additional engines to line the fire so as not stay at the incident all night (and thus impact the next days work).