Firebaugh (formerly, Firebaugh's Ferry) is a city in Fresno County, California, United States. The population was 5,743 as of the 2000 census. ZIP Code for the community is 93622 and the city is located inside area code 559. Firebaugh is located on the west side of the San Joaquin River 38 miles (61 km) west of Fresno, at an elevation of 151 feet (46 m). Inside the city, a small commercial district includes the ubiquitous California Central Valley water tank painted with the city's name. State Route 33 (SR 33) runs through downtown just west of center. The San Joaquin Valley Railroad, West Side Subdivision, passes through downtown.
Outside of city, the area is almost entirely agricultural land in all directions. Most fields of irrigated row crops along SR33 are feed crops such as alfalfa.
The city is named for Andrew D. Firebaugh (also spelled Fierbaugh), an area entrepreneur. During the Gold Rush, Firebaugh's most famous local enterprise was a ferry boat. It shuttled people across the San Joaquin River. He also built a toll road from Bell Station to Pacheco Pass. The toll road went along a route parallel to present-day State Route 152.
Firebaugh was a station on the Butterfield Overland Stage.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km²), of which, 2.8 square miles (7.3 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (2.75%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,743 people, 1,418 households, and 1,246 families residing 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/sq mi (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.
There were 1,418 households out of which 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 all households were made up of individuals and 4.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.01 and the average family size was 4.28.
In the city the population was spread out with 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% who were 65 years of age 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 income for a household in the city was $31,533, and the median income for a family 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.
On their 1985 album Wönderful, the Circle Jerks, an influential Los Angeles-based punk band, recorded a song entitled "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..."
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 stage coach stop.