What’s the difference between a fire “district” and a fire “department”?
Generally, a fire department is part of a city or county government, funded through the city or county’s general fund budget, derived from sales, property, and other taxes.
A fire district is a “special” district (defined by California Health & Safety Code 13800
), usually independent of any city or county government, funded by a portion of the ad valorem property tax and a special tax assessment on properties within its district.
Fire districts generally provide service to rural and/or unincorporated areas surrounding a city or several cities, although some (like Windsor) provide service within city boundaries as well as to the surrounding rural areas.