Prescribed Fire Liability Claims Fund Pilot

Prescribed Fire

Liability Claims Fund Pilot

The Need

One of the primary obstacles to increasing the use of prescribed and cultural fires in California is the difficulty for practitioners to obtain adequate liability coverage. While the rates of escape and loss are very low, there is always some residual risk when working with fire. Liability coverage, when available, protects practitioners, property owners, and the public from the associated financial risk, and yet, many practitioners on private or tribal land are unable to obtain affordable private insurance for their beneficial fire operations.

The Legislation

In September 2022 Governor Newsom signed into law SB 926, which established a pilot Prescribed Fire Claims Fund. This legislation authorizes claims covering certain losses arising from prescribed fires and cultural burning until January 1, 2028. This claims fund is intended to both encourage greater types of beneficial fire use and demonstrate that prescribed and cultural burning is low risk, to entice private insurers back into the market.

The Fund

Administered by CAL FIRE, the $20 million allocated for the Prescribed Fire Liability Claims Fund Pilot will cover losses in the rare instance that a prescribed or cultural burn escapes control, providing up to $2 million in coverage for prescribed fire projects led by a qualified burn boss or cultural practitioner. The fund is meant to demonstrate that prescribed fire, when carefully planned, resourced, and implemented, is a low-risk land management tool that mitigates the larger, more damaging risks of high-severity wildfires.

To Enroll

Enrollment in the Fund is done by completing the California Prescribed Fire Claims Fund Online Application. To be eligible to enroll in the Fund, a prescribed fire must be conducted or supervised by a Burn Boss or a Cultural Burn must be conducted or supervised by a Cultural Fire Practitioner.



CAL FIRE offers a detailed set of Frequently Asked Questions, covering everything from enrollment, application approval, claims submissions, coverage limits and much more.

> FAQ’s


Project Implementation in High-Risk Regions – Santa Monica Mountains

Project Implementation in High-Risk Regions – Santa Monica Mountains

Department: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy

Program Description: The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy prioritized wildfire resilience projects that proactively reduce the risk of wildfire, strengthen wildfire resilience, increase carbon sequestration, rally against the effects of climate change, and dedicate more resources to local community infrastructure.

Program Impact: In 2022, the Conservancy coordinated with partner agencies, non-profit organizations, local tribes, and other stakeholders to kickstart projects that performed one or more of the following types of wildfire resilience activities.

Wildfire resilience activities included:

  • Removing dry, hazardous, or non-native vegetation that poses ignition risk and habitat restoration
  • Increasing the efficacy of wildfire response through emergency operations equipment and workforce development
  • Ignition monitoring program
  • Fire hardening at-risk structures

Conservancy wildfire resilience efforts, initiated in 2021 and sustained throughout 2022, addressed major wildfire hazards in the Santa Monica Recreation Area. State funding supported projects that mitigate hazards posed by fuel-vegetation, human actions, and at-risk structures. Investment in workforce development and capacity building in climate, fire resilience, and habitat restoration further enhanced wildfire prevention and emergency response operations. Ongoing project efforts will continue to reduce wildfire risk throughout the 2023 fire season and following years.

Native plants at Elyria Canyon Nursery to be installed at habitat restoration sites

Before and after photos of completed fuel reduction treatments (mowing) to reduce flammable, flashy fuels in strategic locations of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Resilience in Action: Fuel reduction along the ignition-prone highway 101 corridor continued in 2022, and as of January 2023, approximately 2,000 fire-resistant oaks have been planted at five key sites. In the coming years, fire-resistant oak habitat will replace the existent grassy fuel vegetation and serve as a natural fire buffer around the freeway. Funding for workforce development supported an expanded crew of seasonal firefighters in the Fire Division of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority who received basic and advanced fire training classes, drills, and fuel vegetation removal.

Roadside vegetation management and oak habitat planting project to reduce ignition risk posed by nearby US Highway 101

New portable water pumps installed on daily patrol vehicles in conjunction with water tanks and fire hoses allow rangers to respond to fires on patrol



Southern California Regional Resource Kit

Southern California

Regional Resource Kit

The resource kit contains a core set of data layers that reflect management-relevant metrics for the Southern California region. These data and metrics have been vetted by federal, state, and academic scientists. In total, the Southern California Regional Resource Kit contains nearly 70 metrics selected to be informative, meaningful, and actionable for management.

Additional Details
Most data layers are available at 30 m resolution, but some are available at the resolution of the original data set (e.g. the California gnatcatcher suitable habitat data layer was developed at 150 m pixel resolution).

Each data layer is available for downloading and can also be viewed as an image file. .

View & Download Data

Framework For Resilience

The metrics are organized by ten desired outcomes, termed “Pillars of Resilience” from the Framework for Resilience. The metrics describe the characteristics of one of the pillars in quantitative or, in a few cases, qualitative terms.


Additional Details

All data layers are available at 300 m resolution (i.e. pixels are 300 meter on a side) and some are also available at 30 m resolution. The same data layers are also available rescaled to a value of -1 to +1 to put all data layers in the same units for additional analytical work among metrics and pillars.

Metric Dictionary

A metric dictionary for the Southern California Regional Resource Kit provides details on the nature of each metric. Each metric has been defined to help end-users of the data (and for use with any decision support tools) to understand:

  • The definition of a given metric
  • The expected use(s) of the metric
  • The resolution of the developed data
  • The data sources used to derive the metric
  • The method of metric derivation
  • The root file names

References have been included to help the reader understand potential methods for deriving metrics.



A decision support tool designed for the needs of the regional planners and collaboratives
(available Q2 2023).


USFS Awards CALREC Vision Partnership of the Year

USFS Awards CALREC Vision Partnership of the Year

December 14, 2022 – At the Regional Foresters Awards Ceremony in Sacramento, CA, the Leadership Team of the Sustainable Recreation/CALREC Vision Key Working Group (SRCRV) was awarded a Regional Forester’s Honor Award for Partnership of the Year from the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region. The award recognizes the Leadership Team’s efforts to develop California’s Joint Strategy for Sustainable Outdoor Recreation and Wildfire Resilience for California’s Wildfire & Forest Resilience Task Force. The Joint Strategy satisfies Key Actions 3.13 and 3.14 of the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan. The California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force will publish the Joint Strategy in early 2023.

Accepting the award with Jennifer Eberlein (second from left), from left to right are Bill Keane, Climate Equity Solutions, Inc.; John Wentworth, Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Foundation; Austin McInerny, Consensus and Collaboration Program, College of Continuing Education, Sacramento State University; and Nancy Parachini, USFS Deputy Director of Public Services.

Read the Press Release



USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station Brief #3: Timing of Fire Study

USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station Brief #3:
Timing of Fire Study

Wildland firefighters from the Stanislaus National Forest and researchers from Pacific Southwest Research Station conducted a 21-acre prescribed burn on the Tuolumne Experimental Forest on October 29-30, 2022. The prescribed burn was a part of a Timing of Fire Study allowing researchers to compare how seasonal conditions affect the outcomes of prescribed fire. This video shows how we study the effects of prescribed fire and what we can learn.

Watch The Video


USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station Brief #2: How demographics and funding impact wildfire resilience.

USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station Brief #2:
 Homeowners willingness to pay to reduce wildfire risk in wildland urban interface areas: Implications for targeting financial incentives.

Pacific Southwest Research Station scientists have found that demographics and funding impact wildfire resilience. To help bridge the gap, the U.S. Forest Service has launched a Community Wildfire Defense Grant program by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help the communities most at risk.

Read Brief #2


Science Direct: Homeowners willingness to pay to reduce wildfire risk in woodland urban interface areas

Read the Article

USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station Brief #1: Beneath the Surface: The Hydrology of Hidden Forests Systems

USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station Brief #1:
Beneath the Surface: The Hydrology of Hidden Forests Systems

Pacific Southwest Research Station hydrologists are looking at underlying bedrock in the Kings River Experimental Watershed to better understand the relationship between drought and water use in trees.

Read Brief #1

RESOURCES Widespread Woody Plant Use of Water Stored in Bedrock

Read the Article

PSW Research Station: Kings River Experimental Watersheds


Impacts of Mosquito Fire On Actively Managed Blodgett Forest

Impacts of Mosquito Fire On Actively Managed Blodgett Forest

Previous management history makes an acute difference in the resiliency of forests to wildfire. Active management, including prescribed fire and group selection silviculture, significantly altered the behavior of the Mosquito Fire at UC Berkeley’s Blodgett Forest.

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UC Berkeley’s Blodgett Forest

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More on Pyrosilviculture

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CARCD Distributes USFS Post‐Fire Disaster Recovery Grant Funds

CARCD Distributes USFS Post‐Fire Disaster Recovery Grant Funds

With funding from a $3 million Post‐Fire Disaster Recovery Agreement from the USFS the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) awarded six resource conservation districts (RCDs) grants for forest post‐fire recovery work within the footprints of 2019‐2021 wildfires. All the funded projects resemble or are building towards establishing Emergency Forest Restoration Teams (EFRTs), as per Action Item 1.14 of the CA Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan.

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Sequoia National Forest Makes Progress on Giant Sequoia Emergency Response

Sequoia National Forest Makes Progress on Giant Sequoia Emergency Response

The Sequoia National Forest made tremendous progress toward achieving the Giant Sequoia Emergency Response goals. To date, 345 monarch Giant Sequoias have been protected in 6 groves covering 43 acres, and that number is growing daily!

Fuels reduction treatments are being completed in phases, starting with hazard tree abatement to facilitate safe access for crews working in the groves, then hand treatments to remove ladder fuels and duff from around monarch Giant Sequoias. Implementation is underway in six of the 12 groves: Bearskin, Black Mountain, Indian Basin, Landslide, Wishon, and the Sierra National Forest Nelder grove. 

Read the Release