Fire Protection District History

The Fig Garden Fire Protection District was formed in 1942 to provide needed structural fire protection to an almost fully developed residential area comprised primarily of the Forkner Tract. The District, approximately one square mile in size, is bounded, generally, by Shaw Avenue on the north, Maroa on the east, the Herndon Canal on the south, and Palm Avenue on the west. A three-member Board of Directors governs the District. The current directors are Louis Linney, Larry Fortune and a current vacant seat.

During 1942, a fire station was built at its present location of 4537 N. Wishon. That station consisted of one room living quarters and a garage with a gravel floor and driveway. In the beginning, the District was completely staffed by volunteers.

In the early 1950’s the district hired a full-time professional staff and relied decreasingly on volunteers. By 1956, the district had evolved to a current two-crew operation. Along the way, improvements were made to the station, often by the crews who worked there. A larger garage was built in front of the original garage (now the hose room), separate barracks for A and B shifts were built on either side of the garage, and a chief’s residence was built on the southeastern portion of the property.

In 1970’s, the District was impacted by the passage of Proposition 13, which limited the amount of property tax revenue that the District received. In order to survive, the District explored ways to cut operating expenses. In 1978 the District entered into a contract with Mid-Valley Fire Protection District (Later to become known as Fresno County Fire Protection District) which already had an agreement with the State of California Department of Forestry for fire protection. This brought State firefighters into Fig Garden Fire District and the station became part of Fresno County ‘s Battalion 17.

Over the years more changes were made to the station. The Chief’s residence was converted into a conference/training room and office for the Battalion Chief. The

north barracks was remodeled and became the living quarters for both shifts. The south barracks was converted into a station office, exercise room and an office for the Sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Fig Garden beat.

On January 1, 2006, the Fig Garden Fire Protection District contracted with the City of Fresno for the delivery of fire protection services. The 30-year agreement will provide for the suppression and prevention of fires, emergency medical services, rescue and extrication, hazardous materials response, enforcement of fire codes and arson investigation, and reporting of all fire information under the California Fire Incident Reporting System.

The fire station number changed from Fresno County station #80 to Fresno City station #20. Station 20 houses three firefighters (1 Captain, 1 Engineer, 1 Firefighter) and 1 Fire Investigator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on a three-platoon system. The City of Fresno does not employ Paid Call or Volunteer firefighters.