County of San Diego Agriculture and Livestock Pass Program
Allows commercial agriculture or livestock operators access to
restricted areas to care for crops and animals.
The Ag Pass would allow law enforcement and fire officials to identify pass holders at roadblocks and inside an evacuated area.
Only fire and law enforcement can make the decision for entry, which will be based on fire behavior and safety for the pass holders.
Holding a pass doesn’t authorize an individual to ignore evacuation orders and it doesn’t guarantee access. Since conditions can quickly change, the final decision on access will be determined by law enforcement and fire personnel at each roadblock and within the evacuated area.
For livestock operations, the Ag Pass will be limited to the purposes of sheltering, moving, transporting, evacuating, feeding, watering, or administering veterinary care to livestock.
For agricultural operations, the Ag Pass will allow work on irrigation systems, farm equipment, and other essential infrastructure.
Ag Pass holders will not be permitted to perform other activities, including structural fire protection.
Additionally, Ag Pass holders will be required to acknowledge the inherent risks and hazards associated with accessing restricted areas subject to official road closure as the result of a local emergency and agree to indemnify and hold the County of San Diego harmless from any potential liability.
Phase 1 in Fall 2022 - Accepting applications through Nov 4, 2022
Commercial cattle and equestrian operators and managerial employees in the unincorporated area
Phase 2 in Spring/Summer 2023
All commercial livestock or agricultural operators and managerial employees in the unincorporated area
Fire Safety Training
Verified applicants will be contacted by County Fire to schedule the annual mandatory training conducted by CAL FIRE.
Upcoming training scheduled Nov 17 and the tentative
location will be the San Diego County Farm Bureau office in
The training will take four hours* and it covers fire safety, fire behavior and weather, entrapment avoidance, evacuation, communications and incident command.
*The initial training is four hours, and the annual refresher training is one hour.
In accordance with State law, participation in the Ag Pass program is fully voluntary, and commercial livestock and agricultural eligible owners/operators cannot require employee involvement.
Each eligible commercial operation may secure an Ag Pass for managerial employees who meet all of the following criteria:
- Has management authority with responsibility to oversee the care and well-being of the qualifying livestock producer’s livestock;
- Primarily engages in managerial job duties and customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment in these duties. These provided the duties shall be specified in a written job description issued no later than 90 days before the date of the flood, storm, fire, earthquake, or other disaster; and
- Earns a monthly salary equivalent to no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment at the time of the flood, storm, fire, earthquake, or other disaster.
Verification of a Commercial Operation
Interested parties will submit an application and a minimum of two verification documents to County Fire and then Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures will review and confirm the operation’s commercial status. Examples of documentation for verification of a commercial operation include:
- Redacted tax forms or other business documentation (LLC/partnership/incorporation)
- AWM issued Operator ID
- Restricted Materials Pesticide Permit
- Certified Producer Certificate
- California State Organic Program Registration
- California Department of Agriculture Livestock Identification Number
- Industry Association Letter
- USDA Documentation for Commercial Livestock Producer
- USDA Farm Services Agency Farm Number
- Permitted equestrian facility
- Brand # and/or Brand Certification Documentation
- USDA Documentation for Commercial Livestock Producer
- Zoning or use permit, such as permitted agricultural zoning commercial horse stable
Rules and Restrictions
An evacuation order requires the immediate movement of people out of an affected area due to an imminent threat to health and safety. Even if an individual possesses an Ag Pass, they will be required to evacuate the area.
After an evacuation, access back into the hazardous areas may be restricted by a soft or hard road closure. Only emergency personnel and law enforcement are allowed access to an area during a hard closure.
During a soft closure, the Incident Commander/Unified Command and coordinating emergency agencies will monitor the affected area and to determine when conditions are safe enough to transition to a soft closure and allow Ag Pass holders into the affected area.
If deemed safe, Ag Pass holders will receive a phone, text, and email notification that they may proceed to a law enforcement roadblock and present their pass.
Individuals will only be granted access during daylight hours and are not permitted to stay overnight while an evacuation order remains in place.
Access by Ag Pass holders and others will be guided by safety considerations, determined by fire and law enforcement officials.
Application and Contact Information
Now accepting applications from commercial cattle and equestrian operations in the unincorporated area.
The application can be downloaded here.
Questions and completed applications can be sent to Ag.Pass@sdcounty.ca.gov
- Business name and applicant name
- Contact info and address (including APN or Lat/Long)
- 2 forms of verification to show it is a commercial operation – such as tax documentation, industry association membership, zoning or use permit, or something else you want us to consider (like a website or tax ID)
- Estimated acreage or number of livestock (horses)
- If you are including a managerial employee, we need an emergency plan and insurance documentation
- Signed Waiver and Release Agreement
San Diego County Fire: (858) 974-5999
County of San Diego, Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures: 858-694-2739