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Frequently Asked Questions

When can I have a backyard burn and what permits are required?

Backyard burn season generally runs from December through April. You may only burn on permissive burn days and must register online for a burn permit for each day you burn.

To check burn status, click here.

To fill out your permit, click here during burn season.

I live in Carmel Valley. Is my ambulance service free?

Several years ago, voters in Carmel Valley passed Measure F, which continued a supplemental tax to support a paramedic ambulance in the footprint of the former Carmel Valley Fire Protection District. If you are a resident, a tenant, a business owner or employee, your insurance will be billed, and any remaining balance will be paid for by Measure F funds.

If you were transported by one of our ambulances and have a question regarding a bill, please contact our billing company, Wittman Enterprises, LLC.  They can be reached at (800) 906-6552, PO Box 269110, Sacramento CA  95826.

Where should I place my smoke detectors?

Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, in the hallways leading to the bedrooms, and on each level of your home, including the basement. Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling 4" from the wall; wall mounts should be 4-12" from the ceiling. Do not install near draft areas (windows, vents.). Change batteries at least once a year for replaceable battery models. For detectors without replaceable batteries, life expectancy is ten years.


What is your ISO insurance rating?

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating is often relevant to your homeowners insurance premiums.

Effective 01/01/2022, all residential and commercial buildings within five miles of any of our six stations have an ISO rating of 3. If you are outside that 5-mile radius, your home (or business) will be considered a 10.

If you have any questions about ISO ratings, please contact Division Chief Scott Anderson at (831) 455-1828.

How can I make my home safe from wildfire?

We recommend following these guidelines:

  • Remove all flammable vegetation and any dead or dying plants within 30 feet of each building or structure. You may keep single trees or other vegetation that are trimmed of all dead and dying foliage and are well-pruned and maintained.
  • Remove surface litter so it does not exceed a depth of 3 inches. Surface litter consists of fallen leaves, needles, twigs, bark, cones, pods, small branches, etc.
  • Create a Lean, Clean and Green Zone. An Area of 30 feet immediately surrounding your home.
  • Decrease Fuel in the Reduced Fuel Zone - The fuel reduction zone in the remaining 70 feet (or to the property line, whichever is closer)
  • Clear debris from roof, eaves and rain gutters.
  • Trim tree limbs that are within 10 feet of chimneys and/or stovepipes.
  • Trim dead tree limbs hanging over the building(s).
  • Trim tree limbs so they are at least 6 feet from the ground. This does not include ornamental trees within the 30 foot “defensible space”.
  • Protect all chimney outlets or flues with a 1/2-inch mesh metal screen.
  • Post address numbers (4” min.) so they are visible from the street.
  • Provide a vertical clearance of 15 feet and a minimum width clearance of 12 feet on the driveway.
  • Stack woodpiles at least 30 feet from buildings, fences and other combustible materials.
  • Clear all vegetation and other flammable materials from beneath your deck. Enclose undersides of elevated decks with fire resistive materials.

Each year in the late Spring, we mail out informational flyers to our residents, and follow up with engine company inspections of selected neighborhoods. Our goal is to help homeowners make their property more defensible in the event of a wildfire. If you are not scheduled for a wildland inspection, your local station can arrange for a time to come offer you advice on preparing your home. Please print the checklist below, complete the items and then call us for a visit.

How To Make My Home Safe Checklist.pdf

Which MCRFD station responds to my home or business?

If you live in Carmel Valley, a general guideline is that anything from Rancho San Carlos Rd. to Garland Park is served by the Mid Valley Station. East of Garland and out to San Clemente Dr. and Carmel Valley Rd. is the Village Station's response.

Station 3, on Highway 68 at Laureles Grade, serves the Highway 68 corridor from York Rd. to just East of San Benancio Rd. They also share the Laureles Grade response with the Village Station from Carmel Valley. Covering the remainder of the Highway 68 area up to the Salinas City limits, the Toro Park neighborhoods, and Las Palmas subdivisions is our Toro Station.

Our Chualar station is responsible for a large section of Highway 101, stretching from just North of Gonzales, to just south of the Salinas city limits.

East Garrison is our newest station, serving the entire East Garrison subdivision as well as portions of the Reservation Road corridor and Schoonover Park neighborhoods.

If you have any questions regarding your response area, contact our administrative offices at 455-1828, or check the Stations page for more specifics.


I would like to have a warming fire in my yard. What are the requirements?

A recreational fire is defined as an outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes. These fires must be at least 25 feet from any structure or other combustible fuel source.

In our high fire danger areas, use good judgment and don't start warming fires in high wind conditions or near dry vegetation; and use a screen to prevent embers from traveling to nearby combustible areas.

What is SB 272 and are you compliant?

Approved on October 11, 2015, adds a section to the California Public Records Act requiring local agencies to create a catalog of Enterprise Systems by July 1, 2016 with annual updates.

Enterprise System

A software application or computer system that collects, stores, exchanges and analyzes information that the agency uses that is both of the following:

  • A multi-departmental system or a system that contains information collected about the public.
  • A system that serves as an original source of data within an agency.

An Enterprise System does not include any of the following:

  • Information Technology security systems, including firewalls and other cybersecurity systems.
  • Physical access control systems, employee identification management systems, video monitoring and other physical control systems.
  • Infrastructure and mechanical control systems, including those that control or manage street lights, electrical, natural gas or water or sewer functions.
  • Systems related to 911 dispatch and operation or emergency services.
  • Systems that would be restricted from disclosure by Section 6254.19.
  • The specific records that the information technology system collects, stores, exchanges or analyzes.


1. Create a catalog of enterprise systems, containing:

  • Current system vendor
  • Current system product
  • System’s purpose
  • A description of categories or types of data
  • The department that is the prime custodian of the data
  • The frequency that system data is collected
  • The frequency that system data is updated

2. To make the catalog publicly available upon request

3. To post the catalog in a prominent location on the agency’s website


If the public interest served by not disclosing the information described clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure, the local agency may instead provide a system name, brief title or identifier of the system.

MCRFD Enterprise System is cataloged below:



Helpful Website Links:

Salary Survey for Governmental Agencies in California

National Interagency Fire Center

National Fire Protection Association

Geomac Fire Incident Mapping from USGS