Home Page & Contacts 

Elk Community Services District

PO Box 1, Elk, CA 95432  -  707.877.1800 

Welcome to the Elk CSD website.  As a local government agency, the District was created to provide fire protection, rescue, ambulance & emergency medical services.  This website contains information about District activities, its history, financial information, and much more.  Please use the menu items at the left to learn about the District, the Elk Volunteer Fire Department, and important disaster/emergency preparation steps.

Organization and Meetings

An elected five-member Board of Directors governs the functions of the Elk Community Services District. Each Director serves a four year term without compensation.  Board meetings are scheduled every second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Firehouse located at 6129 S Hwy 1, Elk. Agendas are publicly posted at least 72 hours in advance of each meeting at the following locations: Elk Post Office, Elk Store, Elk Garage, Greenwood Community Center, and on this website.

Dedicated members of the Elk Volunteer Fire Department, operating under the authority of the District, perform the essential public safety functions that are critically important to the community.  Only with their personal commitment, extensive training, and professional skills are these life saving services quickly available to the public.  The Elk VFD was established in 1956 following the destructive Greenwood Hotel fire.  It officially became a non-profit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization in 1997.   (More information about the Elk Volunteer Fire Department can be found in the menu item on the left.)

Elk Community Services District Description

The District was formed on April 3, 1990 to provide a secure legal foundation and reliable funding source for fire protection and emergency medical services in the coastal village of Elk and adjoining areas.  With strong voter approval, the Elk CSD took over a role which had informally operated from 1956 until 1990 under the umbrella of the Elk County Water District.  The Elk CSD boundaries include about 57 square miles of widely variable topography.  The map at right shows the District's relative location in the State and County.  Approximately 450 full-time residents live in the District. During peak summer months, the population can soar to more than 2,500 with visitors and tourists.

The District is the legal owner of all fire apparatus, vehicles, tools/equipment and other assets utilized by the Elk Volunteer Fire Department.  As the responsible government entity, the Elk CSD levies a voter-approved “special tax” on property parcels with structures and it receives a small allocation of Mendocino County’s ad valorem property taxes.  Following the formation of the Mendocino County Association of Fire Districts in 2015, together with 21 other local fire agencies, in 2016 the Elk CSD began receiving a small proportional allocation of California's Prop 172 Public Safety sales tax revenues.  Previously these funds were allocated only to County agencies.  Following approval of ballot Measure D TOT (a countywide Transient Occupancy Tax on private campgrounds), Elk CSD has received a share of these revenues since in 2021.  Further, with cooperation and support by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, ballot Measure P (a .25% countywide sales tax) was approved by voters.  In 2024 the District and other local fire agencies began receiving proportional allocations of these revenues.  Together, the Elk CSD receives about $115,000 annually from these non-property tax sources.  Importantly, allocation of these Prop 172, TOT and sales tax revenues is discretionary and subject to County Board of Supervisors authorization.      

The District budgets and manages the funding, ensures legal compliance, enters into agreements with other agencies, and plans for future needs.  In its oversight and administrative roles, the District sets policy and rules that govern the Elk VFD.  Based on available financial resources, the District funds operational and administrative costs, maintenance, training and public outreach, capital expenditures, and prioritizes replacement and improvement of equipment and infrastructure.  Importantly, both the District and the Elk VFD actively seek grant funding support for projects and equipment purchases.

If needed, under mutual aid and contract agreements, the District's fire and ambulance services may be dispatched to assist other agencies or participate in large incident “fire strike teams.”  As noted earlier, these critical services are provided by the dedicated group of trained women and men of the Elk Volunteer Fire Department.

Inadequate funding, new and increasingly complex requirements, volunteer recruitment/retention, aging assets, and infrastructure shortcomings are ongoing challenges for the District and volunteer firefighters. The Elk CSD actively coordinates with other Fire Agencies to find operational efficiencies, learn of new and developing opportunities and changes that effect volunteer fire departments and public Fire Agencies. The District actively supports and participates in the Mendocino County Association of Fire Districts (MCAFD) and Mendocino County Fire Chief's Association (MCFCA).

Beginning in 2021, the District has performed mandated annual Fire and Life Safety inspections on Inns, and vacation rental properties in accordance with Health and Safety Code §13146 et seq.  Members of the Elk VFD conduct and follow-up on these inspections.  The Office of the State Fire Marshal monitors inspection status annually. 




Elk Community Services District

PO Box 1

Elk, CA  95432



Rosi Acker

Board Secretary/Clerk




Bob Matson

Fire Chief

707.877-3444 (w)



Ben MacMillan

Board President