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Special Districts

The Arcata Fire District is a single-purpose Special District, independent of the County of Humboldt and the City of Arcata; governed by a board who is elected directly by the voters. We provide critical, emergency, life-saving, and fire protection services to the communities of McKinleyville, Manila, Bayside, Jacoby Creek and the City of Arcata. 

Special Districts are created and overseen directly by the community they serve. Decisions such as funding measures, the election of board members, 


Unlike a city or county fire department, a special district is governed by a five member board elected by the community. The district is divided into 5 sections based on population numbers and each of these sections elects their own Board member to represent them. These board members are kept separate  from one another and held to strict codes of accountability and transparency so that they can not be influenced by other board members opinions and can make decisions independently from one another so that they are best representing the interests of the section they represent.



For more information on the current board members or to see who your board member is click here


Also unlike a traditional fire department, special districts do not receive funding from the city or county and thus utilize many different revenue sources. Fire Protection Districts receive the majority of their funding via non-enterprise revenues such as property taxes, benefit assessments, and parcel taxes. The district may also receive funding from grants and donations.

Presently, the District is funded from four primary sources:

  • 50% from the ad valorem (property tax) 

  • 40% from the District's voter-approved initiatives

    • 1997 special tax and

    • 2006 benefit assessment

  • 8% from other government funds 

  • 2% from charges for services

To see Arcata Fire District’s current budgets, audits, and state controllers reports click here

Data Taken From Fiscal Year 2019/20 Budget
These revenue sources and their usage is visualized here by charts using data from the most recent budget.