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."

Battalion Chief Joe Tapia

I began my career with CAL FIRE in 1989 as a seasonal Firefighter I in the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit.  In 1992, I transferred to Forestry Aide, working at the Latour Demonstration State Forest near the community of Whitmore in the Shasta-Trinity Unit and the Jackson Demonstration State Forest near Fort Bragg in the Mendocino Unit. In 1998 I was the operations manager of the Magalia Reforestation Center in Butte County.  In 2004, I transferred to Fire Captain, supervising fire crews at the Butte Fire Center in Magalia and at Valley View Conservation Camp in the Tehama-Glenn Unit.  In 2006, I transferred to the Emergency Command Center in Oroville.  In 2010, I transferred to Pre-Fire Engineering in the Butte Unit.  In 2014, I promoted to Battalion Chief, Vegetation Management Program (VMP) Coordinator for the Butte Unit.

I achieved my Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Resources Management in 1994 at the Humboldt State University.
I have served on CAL FIRE Incident Management Teams since 2009 in various positions.  I currently serve as a member of the finance section of CAL FIRE Incident Management Team #6.

The Pre-Fire/VMP bureau works cooperatively with the Butte County Fire Safe Council to update and implement the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP).The CWPP identifies and prioritizes projects to reduce wildfire impacts to citizens, public safety personnel, critical infrastructure, the environment and other values at risk.  

The Vegetation Management Program (VMP) is a cost-share program that focuses on the use of prescribed fire, and mechanical means, for addressing wildland fire fuel hazards and other resource management issues on State Responsibility Area (SRA) lands. The use of prescribed fire mimics natural processes, restores fire to its historic role in wildland ecosystems, and provides significant fire hazard reduction benefits that enhance public and firefighter safety.

VMP allows private landowners to enter into a contract with CAL FIRE to use prescribed fire to accomplish a combination of fire protection and resource management goals. The projects which fit within a unit's priority areas (e.g., those identified through the Fire Plan/Community Wildfire Protection Plan) and are considered to be of most value will be completed. 


 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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