The Fresno County Fire Protection District was established in 1949 after a series of large devastating fires. Residents formed what was then called the Mid Valley Fire Protection District. The first fire station was constructed at the current Fresno County Fairgrounds at Cedar and Butler Avenues. The Fire District staffed and responded from this single station serving the entire District.
In 1950, under the leadership of William Pennington, State Forest Ranger IV, the Mid-Valley Fire Protection District joined what was then the California Division of Forestry and the Unit Headquarters was moved from the Fresno County Fair Grounds to the newly completed facility at Highway 180 and Academy Avenue in Sanger.
In 1978, the Fig Garden Fire Protection District contracted with the Department of Forestry for fire protection services, and in the early 1980’s the Friant and Table Mountain Volunteers were added. The cooperative agreements between these entities were consolidated in the early 1990’s under the name Fresno County Fire Protection District.
Today, five (5) Special Districts provide fire protection to the unincorporated areas of Fresno County. The Fresno County Fire Protection District is the largest of these five (5) Districts covering 2,655 square miles, or over 50% of the County which includes the Cities of Parlier, Mendota, Huron, Fowler, San Joaquin and the rural communities of Tranquillity, Del Rey, Caruthers, Easton, Malaga, Friant, Cantua Creek, Calwa, Prather, Sand Creek, Tarpey Village and Wonder Valley. Under an MOU signed with the County of Fresno in 2018, the District assumed operational responsibility for the unprotected areas of the County, in effect becoming the jurisdictional authority for those areas. As part of the agreement, the District also provides support to five true Volunteer Fire Companies in Eastern Fresno County.
The Fresno County Fire Protection District, in cooperation with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), provides all risk emergency services from 17 District Fire Stations, 15 career staffed and 2 paid call fire fighter stations. The District operates with 37 fire fighters on duty daily, plus Chief Officers, prevention staff, emergency communication operators, as well as other staff that help support the mission. The District is directly responsible for approximately 2,655 square miles and 220,000 people. The District provides all risk emergency response, fire prevention, education, and code enforcement services.