Placer County

Contract pays for 60 firefighters

AUBURN, Calif. — In 2017, Placer County Fire Department responded to 8,362 calls for emergency services, including 1,473 fire calls and 5,991 medical calls, for 475 square miles of unincorporated areas of the county. This service is provided by CAL FIRE through a cooperative agreement with the county.

Today, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a $12.7 million contract with CAL FIRE to provide fire and emergency services for the county’s 2018-19 fiscal year.

Funding for the CAL FIRE contract largely comes from ad valorem property taxes, with additional funding coming from special taxes and assessments paid by residents in areas served by the contract, as well as a $1.1 million county general fund contribution.

The contract amount represents a 5 percent increase over last year’s due to a wage rate increase negotiated in CAL FIRE’s state labor agreement.

The CAL FIRE contract pays for 60 firefighters at eight, 24/7 fire stations, located in Alta, Colfax, Bowman, North Auburn, Ophir, Lincoln, Dry Creek and the Sunset Area in western Placer.

“The fuel loading of annual grasses in Placer County is extremely high, creating significant fire danger for our residents, homes, businesses and infrastructure,” said CAL FIRE/Placer County Fire Chief George Morris. “Placer’s fire agencies are prepared for increased fire activity, but we need residents to prepare by creating defensible space around their homes and prepare to evacuate in the event of a fire.”