The Mi Wuk-Sugar Pine Fire Protection District (MWSPFPD) is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, 125 miles east of San Francisco California. The 1.2 square mile district protects a primarily residential community, consisting of single family dwellings, secondary residence and vacation cabins.
By virtue of an automatic aid agreement with Tuolumne County, the District provides primary fire and EMS protection for an additional 16 square miles which includes the communities of Confidence, Sierra Village, Whispering Pines, High Sierra Park, Leisure Pines, Peaceful Pines and Long Barn. The total area includes 2,715 residential homes on lots five acres or less, 25 commercial buildings, 48 multi-home lots and 16 townhouses or condominiums. The assessed value of the properties the MWSPFPD protects is $539,045,138.
The year round population is approximately 2,150 year round residents with an additional 5,000 seasonal residents during the summer and holidays. Most of the year round residents are retirees.
At an elevation of 4500 feet, the District is located in a conifer forest with a brush and grass understory. National Forest land surrounds about two thirds of the District. The State of California rates the area as having a very high risk of wildfire.
In 2013 the 257,314 acre Rim Fire burned to within four miles of the District (the MWSPFPD fire station was used as an information center and equipment staging area for the fire). In 2015 the 70,868 acre Butte Fire burned 17 miles north of the District and MWSPFPD resources assisted in its suppression. Both of these “mega-fires” occurred in identical topography and vegetation types as that found inside the MWSPFPD primary response area.
The MWSPFPD consist of one fire station staffed by a paid captain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Emergency responses are augmented by volunteer, reserve and intern fire fighters. The current department roster includes a part time paid Chief, a part time paid Assistant Chief, 2 fulltime paid Captains, 5 unpaid Volunteer Fire Fighters and 4 unpaid Intern Fire Fighters, a part time Training Chief and a paid full time secretary. A paid Relief Captain is used for shift coverage in the event 1 of the 2 paid Captains is unavailable to work.