Environmental Protection Program

When CAL FIRE decides to approve, permit, fund, or carry out a project that may effect the environment, its decision is subject to disclosure and review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Certain Department activities may be exempt from CEQA due to their emergency nature (e.g., firefighting, flood response) or their minimal likelihood for causing significant impacts (statutory or categorical exemptions). Other actions may require the Department's development and approval of environmental documents, including Environmental Impact Reports. The following is a summary of CAL FIRE approvals that are subject to environmental review under CEQA:




  • Heavy Fire Equipment (Dozer) Operator Training
  • Training Burns (wildland or structure)
  • Conservation Crew Hand Line Construction
  • Tree Faller Training


  • Demonstration and Research
  • Recreation (trails, campgrounds, special events)
  • New and Updated Forest Management Plans
  • Road Maintenance and Repair



  • Tree Planting
  • Grants



  • Pesticide Applications
  • Forest Pest Research


In addition to CEQA, CAL FIRE is subject to many other State and Federal laws and regulations - federal and State Endangered Species Acts, Clean Water Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act - and must obtain various permits to carryout certain activities. In conducting its environmental analysis under CEQA, CAL FIRE consults with other agencies, carries out surveys and studies, seeks the opinion of experts and solicits public input. CAL FIRE strives to avoid environmental impacts through modifications in the project such that sensitive resources are protected. Where necessary, CAL FIRE adopts additional mitigations to ensure that impacts to all resources are, individually and cumulatively, less than significant.

CAL FIRE encourages the public's participation in the CEQA process and welcomes input at hearings or through the submittal of written comments. Notices of upcoming hearings and CEQA documents currently open for public comment are available on our Public Notice Page.

All written comments should be submitted to CAL FIRE – Environmental Protection Program at the following mail or email address:

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Environmental Protection Program
2180 Harvard St., Suite 200
Sacramento, California 95815

Email: SacramentoPublicComment@fire.ca.gov

In addition, CAL FIRE routinely reviews environmental documents prepared for federal, state, and local government projects to ensure compliance with regulations that CAL FIRE enforces or to identify projects that conflict with CAL FIRE's mission. CAL FIRE staff (Resource Management and Fire Protection) are available to consult with lead agencies in the development of their projects.

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