Prescribed FireLiability Claims Fund Pilot

The Need

One of the primary obstacles to increasing the use of prescribed and cultural fires in California is the difficulty of obtaining adequate liability coverage. While escape rates are very low, there is always some risk when working with fire. Liability coverage protects qualified practitioners, property owners, and the public from the associated financial risk. However, many practitioners on private or tribal land are unable to obtain affordable private insurance for 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 increased 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 carefully planned, resourced, and implemented beneficial fire is a low-risk land management tool to mitigate high-severity wildfires and promote healthy and resilient landscapes.

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 Fire Practitioner for a Cultural Burn.



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



Forestry and Fire Protection Report Cover
Read the Guidelines & FAQ

Interview with Lenya Quinnn-Davidson on the Prescribed Fire Claims Fund

Read the Press Release

California Takes a Big Step to Help Insure Private Companies That Fight Fire With Fire

Read the Article in LAist