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Firebaugh, California

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Firebaugh, California
City of Firebaugh
Northbound N St. (Highway 33) at 13th Street in 2006.
Northbound N St. (Highway 33) at 13th Street in 2006.
Coat of arms of Firebaugh, California
"The Jewel of the San Joaquin!"[1]
Location of Firebaugh in Fresno County, California.
Location of Firebaugh in Fresno County, California.
Firebaugh, California is located in the United States
Firebaugh, California
Firebaugh, California
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 36°51′32″N 120°27′22″W / 36.85889°N 120.45611°W / 36.85889; -120.45611
CountryUnited States of America
IncorporatedSeptember 17, 1914[2]
 • MayorFelipe Perez[3]
 • Mayor Pro TemMarcia Sablan [3]
 • State senatorShannon Grove (R)[4]
 • State assemblymanJoaquin Arambula (D)[5]
 • CongressmanDavid Valadao (R)[6]
 • Total3.57 sq mi (9.25 km2)
 • Land3.52 sq mi (9.11 km2)
 • Water0.06 sq mi (0.14 km2)  1.62%
Elevation151 ft (46 m)
 • Total7,549
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,358.83/sq mi (910.74/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)559
FIPS code06-24134
GNIS feature IDs277514, 2410507

Firebaugh is a city in Fresno County, California, United States, on the west side of the San Joaquin River 38 miles (61 km) west of Fresno.

State Route 33 (SR 33) and the San Joaquin Valley Railroad, West Side Subdivision, pass through downtown. A small commercial district features the ubiquitous California Central Valley water tank painted with the city's name.

Firebaugh lies at an elevation of 151 feet (46 m). The population was 7,549 at the 2010 census, up from 5,743 as of 2000.

Firebaugh hosts an annual Cantaloupe Round-Up Festival in Dunkle Park. The event aims at celebrating the peak harvest of the melon in late July and is an economic boost for local businesses.


The community library (left) and courthouse (right) in 2006
The community library (left) and courthouse (right) in 2006

The city, formerly Firebaugh's Ferry,[10] is named for Andrew D. Firebaugh (also spelled Fierbaugh),[10] an area entrepreneur.[11] During the Gold Rush, Firebaugh's most famous local enterprise was a ferry boat which shuttled people across the San Joaquin River. In 1857 he built a toll road for wagons, replacing an earlier horse trail that ran parallel to present-day State Route 152 from what became Bell Station over Pacheco Pass to the Rancho San Luis Gonzaga.

Firebaugh was a station on the Butterfield Overland Stage.[10] The Firebaugh's Ferry post office operated from 1860 to 1862.[10] The Firebaugh post office opened in 1865.[10]

In the 1880s, the area of Firebaugh was once part of the massive holdings of the Miller and Lux Company, which had a large cattle operation covering what today is Dos Palos to Mendota.

The city incorporated in 1914.[10]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2), of which, 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (1.62%) is water.


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Firebaugh has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.[12]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)8,296[9]9.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]


At the 2010 census Firebaugh had a population of 7,549. The population density was 2,145.2 people per square mile (828.2/km2). The racial makeup of Firebaugh was 4,715 (62.5%) White, 70 (0.9%) African American, 116 (1.5%) Native American, 40 (0.5%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 2,371 (31.4%) from other races, and 237 (3.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6,887 persons (91.2%).[14]

The census reported that 7,536 people (99.8% of the population) lived in households, 13 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and no one was institutionalized.

There were 1,920 households, 1,208 (62.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,179 (61.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 317 (16.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 182 (9.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 145 (7.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 6 (0.3%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 197 households (10.3%) were one person and 95 (4.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 3.93. There were 1,678 families (87.4% of households); the average family size was 4.17.

The age distribution was 2,716 people (36.0%) under the age of 18, 914 people (12.1%) aged 18 to 24, 1,923 people (25.5%) aged 25 to 44, 1,504 people (19.9%) aged 45 to 64, and 492 people (6.5%) who were 65 or older. The median age was 26.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.4 males.

There were 2,096 housing units at an average density of 595.6 per square mile (230.0/km2), of which 1,920 were occupied, 1,008 (52.5%) by the owners and 912 (47.5%) by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.6%. 4,105 people (54.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 3,431 people (45.4%) lived in rental housing units.


At the 2000 census there were 5,743 people in 1,418 households, including 1,246 families, in the city. The population density was 2,030.6 people per square mile (783.5/km2). There were 1,581 housing units at an average density of 559.0 per square mile (215.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 43.60% White, 1.15% Black or African American, 1.36% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 48.51% from other races, and 4.49% from two or more races. 87.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[15] Of the 1,418 households, 59.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.4% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 12.1% were non-families. 9.4% of households were one person and 4.9% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 4.01 and the average family size was 4.28.

The age distribution was 39.3% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 14.7% from 45 to 64, and 6.4% 65 or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females, there were 108.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.7 males.

The median household income was $31,533 and the median family income was $33,018. Males had a median income of $24,213 versus $17,829 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,290. About 20.0% of families and 22.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.9% of those under age 18 and 24.3% of those age 65 or over.


Firebaugh is served by the Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District, which has a preschool, primary school, elementary school, middle school (Firebaugh Middle), and high school (Firebaugh High), in addition to an alternative community education institution called El Puente High School. Firebaugh High School offers the most Regional Occupational Program classes in Fresno County and is also notable for its high AP exam pass rates.[16] Its sports teams are nicknamed the "Eagles".

Notable Resident

In popular culture

  • On their 1985 album Wönderful, the Circle Jerks, an influential Los Angeles-based punk band, recorded a song titled "Firebaugh". The song's lyrics portray a dystopian vision of racial tension, violence, alcoholism, and boredom. Listeners are warned, "If your car breaks down, don't take a tow to Firebaugh..."[17]
  • Wells Fargo Bank, one of the major banks in California, periodically runs television commercials set in late 19th-century California and featuring their trademark stage coach. "Firebaugh's Ferry" is sometimes listed as a stagecoach stop.
  • The video for the 1999 single "The Greatest" by Kenny Rogers was filmed at the baseball field known as "dunkle field" in Firebaugh. Many of the spectators featured in the video were residents from Firebaugh.
  • Firebaugh gets mention in Bruce Springsteen's song The New Timer, from the album "Ghost of Tom Joad", 1995. The song tells the tale of a hobo and itinerant worker during the Great Depression showing a young man how to survive on the road. "I hoed sugar beets outside of Firebaugh, I picked the peaches from the Marysville tree. They bunked us in a barn just like animals. Me and a hundred others just like me."


  1. ^ "English: City of Firebaugh". 2015-11-17.
  2. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on November 3, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "City Council". City of Firebaugh. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  4. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  5. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  6. ^ "California's  21st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  7. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  8. ^ "Firebaugh". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  9. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  11. ^ Myer, Chuck, report: Pacheco Past: A History of the Gateway to Santa Clara County, (San Jose, California: Pioneers of Santa Clara County, 1992), page 3.
  12. ^ Climate Summary for Firebaugh, California
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Firebaugh city". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  16. ^ "Principal's Message – About Us – Firebaugh High School". Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  17. ^ Wönderful album overview

External links

This page was last edited on 14 October 2021, at 12:35
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