From the Chief

On behalf of the men and women of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, welcome to the County of Santa Barbara. I am proud to lead the hardworking men and women of this well-respected firefighting institution and honored to serve as your Fire Chief.

The County Fire Department is a Special District organized pursuant to California Fire District Law. We are funded through a portion of the annual property taxes paid within the boundaries of the District throughout the County of Santa Barbara.

The County Fire District is a true “all-risk” organization. Our responsibilities include structure and vegetation firefighting, emergency medical care and transportation, rescue, fire prevention and inspection, hazardous material and oil spill response and containment. Our 214 sworn firefighters deliver these services from an array of fire engines, heavy equipment, helicopters and watercraft. 

The Fire District encompasses nearly 2,400 square miles and includes roughly half the population of the County. We work closely with our neighboring cities, fire districts, the U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire by giving and receiving mutual aid as requested. The Santa Barbara County Fire District also protects the State Responsibility Areas (SRA) within the County under contract with Cal Fire. In our role as the County Fire Warden, we aid in enforcing all laws, ordinances and any rules or regulations adopted by the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection and State Fire Marshal relating to fires or to fire prevention and protection.

Santa Barbara County’s beautiful coastline, mountains, and valleys are prone to wildfire, flooding, and other natural disasters. The County Fire Department trains daily and invests heavily in equipment and technology in order to meet the formidable challenges faced by the communities we serve. From the densely populated community of Isla Vista, to rural New Cuyama, we are committed to meeting the needs of our communities with professionalism, dedication and pride.

We hope that you will never need us, but if you do, we stand ready, willing, and highly capable.

Yours in service,

Mark A. Hartwig

Fire Chief / Fire Warden

Santa Barbara County Fire Department