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Our Mission: "The mission of the Thornton Fire District is to provide quality service, professional fire protection and life safety to meet the needs of our community."

Thornton Rural Fire District was established in 1951 by its Townspeople and was originally an all volunteer fire station. The Thornton Rural Fire Protection District was formed in 1951 under the California Health and Safety Code, Section 13800. It was the seventeenth Fire District established in San Joaquin County, thus given the "District 17" identifier. The Thornton Rural Fire Protection District currently provides fire protection, suppression and prevention, inspection, hazardous material, and emergency medical services to a service area that is approximately 42.8 square miles. The District is located in the northwest portion of San Joaquin County. The District provides services to the community of Thornton and adjacent agricultural areas

​Today, the District is classified as a combination department, consisting of full-time, part-time, intern, and volunteer personnel. The Fire District has an average call volume of 355 service calls per year and protects roughly 980 structures within its boundaries. The District maintains an automatic aid agreement with Cosumnes Fire Protection District located to the north of the District in Sacramento County, and a mutual aid agreement with neighboring agency, Woodbridge Fire District.