Butte County Fire Department is the largest fire department north of Sacramento, California to Eugene, Oregon. We are a combination of career and citizen volunteer firefighters.

Our Mission: "To provide professional services to protect lives, property, and environment to those residing, working or traveling with in the unincorporated areas of Butte County, the cities of Biggs and Gridley and the Town of Paradise."

Fire Prevention Education

Welcome to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Volunteer in Prevention (VIP) Program

The VIP program is an integral part of CAL FIRE’s fire prevention and public education program. Volunteer activities complement the information, and education.

CAL FIRE initiated the VIP program on July 1, 1980 . The program was authorized by the California State Government Volunteers’ Act enacted by SB 1950.  The program was established to aid the dwindling fire prevention staffs. The VIP program utilizes citizen’s volunteers in a variety of prevention activities such as child safety education programs, fairs, parades, and public information. Because of the success in reducing fires, the VIP Program has grown to 2500 volunteers’ strong (state wide). It is a partnership of people in the community and CAL FIRE working together to reduce fires and educate the public in fire prevention and safety measures.

CAL FIRE involves and utilizes citizens and public service groups to promote public safety education. VIP’s assist CAL FIRE in the prevention of the ignition and initial spread of unwanted human cause fires, with the emphasis upon the prevention of large, damaging fires.

On their own initiative, minor and adult VIP’s provide goods or services without any financial gain. Volunteers do not replace paid employees; instead, their efforts supplement and extend the services of CAL FIRE.

Who can be a Volunteer-in-Prevention?

Because of the flexible nature and variety of functions that the VIP program provides, virtually anyone can become a VIP. The program currently has men and women participants ranging in experience from professionals to students, and boy scouts to retirees. 

VIP Activities

As a VIP, there are numerous activities in which to participate. Listed below is a sample of yearly activities:

  • Fair exhibits and displays            

Staff booths and provide fire prevention information
Wear Smokey or Sparky Costume (voluntary)

  • Assist CAL FIRE information officer during large fires

When large fires are occurring there is a heavy demand by the public and the media for information. After being properly trained, VIP’s may be called upon to staff information centers to meet this demand.

  • Office Support for VIP and Fire Prevention program

Occasionally VIP’s are asked to assist staff in preparing program required materials or other related activities.

  • Fire Prevention education programs

Visit school and other community organizations to present the Fire Prevention story and answer questions about the CAL FIRE.

We hope that information helps you understand the VIP Program and its importance. Should you have any questions regarding the program, please feel free to contact the program director, Mary Ann Aldrich, at 530.538.6837, ext. 165.


 Contact Fire

Butte County Fire

In an Emergency
Dial 9-1-1
Arson Hotline

Phone:    530.538.7111
Fax:        530.538.7401

 Locations and Hours

Butte County Fire
176 Nelson Avenue
Oroville CA, 95965

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm
Excludes Holidays


 Current Incidents

For current incidents call
Butte County Fire

If you reach a recording, there may be no current incidents

Visit Statewide Fire Incidents


Butte County Air Quality Management Department

View Burn Day Status


Butte County Fire CALFIRE

Darren Read, Fire Chief  
David Hawks, Assistant Chief, North Division 
Chris Haile, Assistant Chief, South Division 
Jamie Norton, Assistant Chief, Administration

Garret Sjolund, Assistant Chief, Butte Fire Center

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