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Fresno Fire Department Wants Reimbursement Guarantee When Fighting Forest Fires

Apr 8, 2015

Fresno Fire Department (file photo)
Credit Fresno Fire Department Annual Report / Fresno Fire Department

The Fresno Fire Department is concerned that requests for aid from state and federal agencies during wildfires could wind up hurting the department's finances.  FM89's Joe Moore reports.

California's drought has resulted in more forest fires in recent years. That's put a strain not only on state and federal fire crews, but also on firefighters in cities like Fresno, that often assist through mutual aid agreements. 

Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis says that's why she's asking the city council to mandate that those agencies fully reimburse the city for firefighters' time, including breaks, and traveling to and from the fire. 

Donis: "We have had a very successful system in place for many many years. This resolution doesn't say there is a problem. It just protects the city in the event that for some reason the state or the federal government doesn't pay portal to portal."

Recent changes in state and federal policy on reimbursement have left departments across the state looking to make similar moves. If adopted, Fresno's resolution would authorize Donis to deny future requests for assistance if those payments don't materialize.