(a) The board of supervisors may appoint a county fire warden and assistant and deputy county fire wardens as it may consider necessary. The county fire warden shall aid in enforcing all laws and ordinances and any rules or regulations adopted by the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection and by the State Fire Marshal relating to fires or to fire prevention and protection. The county fire warden and the county fire warden's deputies and assistants shall perform those duties relating to fires or to fire protection and prevention required by the board of supervisors. The county fire warden, and any assistant and deputy county fire wardens that are designated by the county fire warden, have the powers of peace officers to make arrests without warrant for violation of any state, county, or federal fire laws, and are not liable to civil action for trespass committed in the discharge of their duties. In making any arrests, the county fire warden, and the county fire warden's assistants and deputies shall follow the procedure prescribed in Sections 4157 and 4158 of the Public Resources Code. The county fire warden and the county fire warden's assistants and deputies shall serve at the pleasure of the board of supervisors and shall be paid salaries and receive reimbursement for mileage while traveling on official business as determined by the board.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, if the board of supervisors of a county, in which a civil service system has been created for county officers and employees, determines that it is necessary to provide for the appointment of a county fire warden and assistant and deputy county fire wardens, that county fire warden and those assistants and deputies shall be selected and appointed pursuant to the provisions relating to that civil service system and the persons so appointed shall be entitled to all of the rights and privileges, and subject to all of the provisions, provided by the system in the same manner and to the same extent as other county officers and employees included in the system. This paragraph does not apply to any county in which the office of county fire warden, or any assistant or deputy county fire warden is excluded from the civil service system.
(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 972, Sec. 2.)