The Chumash Fire Department is a division of the tribal government devoted to fire, emergency medical and disaster preparedness services for the Santa Ynez Reservation. The department also is a resource for the greater community, cooperating with other local fire departments and federal agencies to combat fires and protect people and property.

The departmentís firefighters often are the first responders to wildfires on federal land through an arrangement with the U.S. Forest Service. Additionally, because of mutual aid and other agreements, Chumash fire crews can be found on the front lines, ranging from battling fires in Santa Barbara County and the Central Coast, to those in other Western states.

They are called upon when the governor declares a state of emergency.

But at the heart of the Chumash Fire Departmentís mission is to safeguard the well-being of lives and property on the reservation in the Santa Ynez Valley. The departmentís workers are trained – and, in fact, now help train others – in the challenges of fighting fires in higher risk areas that include where urban and rural environments interface.

The department has permanent full-time firefighters and emergency medical technicians on staff year-round on the reservation. But it also has other emergency workers in the community to call on when needed.

The Chumash Fire Department has made a commitment to giving back to the community, including helping to provide tribal and other young people gain the skills needed to become certified in wildland firefighting. The firefighters and EMTs also serve as mentors.

The department trains from 30 to 40 people a year and helps them attend state and federal firefighting academies as well. The departmentís supervisors encourage local residents to contact them about opportunities.

Employees also have worked as instructors at the firefighting program at Allan Hancock Community College in Santa Maria.

Through work with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, the department has gone to other reservations in California and the Southwest to teach and offer assistance, as well as temporarily trading employees to provide other types of training.

With funding by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, the Chumash Fire Department has the goal of protecting the reservation and continuing to be a public-safety resource for residents of Santa Barbara County and beyond.

Chumash Fire Department

Physical Address:
3300 East Hwy 246
Santa Ynez, CA 93460

(805) 688-7997

(805) 693-5656


2019 Inter-Tribal