Ahead of Peak Wildfire Season, State Adds Barona and Viejas Fire Departments to California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System


Continuing to build partnerships with Tribal Governments, these additions amplifies the robust California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System

SAN DIEGO – Continuing efforts to keep California communities safe from all-hazard disasters, including wildfires, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) today announced partnerships with two Tribal Nations.

Through an agreement with the state, the Barona Band of Mission Indians, Barona Fire Department, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and Viejas Fire Department are now partners of the California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System.

In particular, Cal OES is assigning a Type III fire engine to the Barona Fire Department, increasing their capability to respond to local and statewide incidents. Cal OES is assigning a Type VI fire engine to the Viejas Fire Department, bolstering their ability to keep surrounding communities safe.

During times of disaster, these engines may be called upon to preposition ahead of or respond to emergency incidents statewide.

“Cal OES is proud to add two new Tribal Nations to the California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System,” said Nancy Ward, Director of Cal OES. “Putting more resources out in California communities means we can respond to incidents quicker and keep people safe.”

“Barona is excited about this partnership with Cal OES and proud to join the mutual aid system,” said Raymond Welch, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. “The addition of this new apparatus will bolster our fire department’s ability to respond to all-hazard events impacting our local communities.”

“Viejas is extremely proud to partner with the State to obtain a Cal OES Type VI fire engine,” said John Christman, Chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians. “We have a long history of helping our neighbors, especially at times of disaster and this OES engine staffed by our dedicated Viejas firefighters will be a valuable resource when mutual aid is called upon to protect life and property throughout the State.”

Through legislation signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, the state is now allowed to enter into mutual aid agreements with tribes, boosting tribal access for federal funding and reimbursements when they assist with disasters, like wildfires.

These new partnerships add to the already robust California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System, deploying a fleet of more than 270 fire engines to over 150 fire departments across the state. Before and during a disaster or emergency, these engines and crew can rapidly deploy across the state to increase local capacity.

Type III fire engines are 4-by-4 vehicles that can go off-road to battle California wildfires in addition to responding to all-hazard events. They have the capacity to carry a 4-person crew and carry 500 gallons of water.

Type VI fire engines are the smallest of the Cal OES fleet. Their size allows them to get into places bigger engines can’t like rough terrain or hillsides. They have the capacity to carry a 4-person crew and carry 300 gallons of water. They’re mainly used for quick attack of fires and carry extrication tools for rescue missions.


Cal OES serves as the state’s lead emergency management agency, including respond, directing, and coordinate state and federal resources and mutual aid assets across all regions to support communities across the state.


The Barona Fire Department was established in 1998 to provide its own dedicated fire service to the residents and patrons of the Barona Reservation.

Station 27

Barona Fire Station was completed in 2000. The station is approximately 9000 sq feet and houses four administrative offices, eight beds for on-duty personnel, and three double-deep drive through apparatus bays.


The Viejas Fire Department takes pride in a highly comprehensive training program and compassionate personnel that provide excellent service to the community. All personnel operates out of station 25 with one Fire Chief and one Executive Assistant; Staffing includes an “all-risk” division with 15 personnel and a wildland division with 5 personnel. The all-risk division staffs a type I engine, a type III engine, and a paramedic ambulance. The wildland division staffs a type VI engine and 2000 gallon county owned water tender. Viejas frequently provides automatic aid response into the nearby community of Alpine along the busy I-8 corridor.


Barona and Viejas Fire Departments Training on Cal OES Engine: here.

Type III Fire Engine Video: Cal OES Fire and Rescue Fleet – Type III Fire Engine

Type VI Fire Engine Video:  Cal OES Fire and Rescue Fleet – Type VI Fire Engine

Link to Cal OES Fire and Rescue Branch Fleet photos here.