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California ramps up wildfire prevention work

SACRAMENTO – California is scaling up work to prepare, prevent and mitigate the threat of wildfire – investing in more projects throughout the state to help protect underserved communities and stop wildfire in its tracks.

California continues to prepare communities against the devastating impacts of wildfires, with Governor Gavin Newsom announcing July 27 new investments that will ramp up defenses around homes, reduce overgrown vegetation, improve evacuation routes for rural communities and more.

The $113 million in new funding, made possible by the $52 billion California Climate Commitment budget, will support 96 wildfire prevention projects across the state – with more than 8 in 10 grants directed towards vulnerable or underserved communities.

Governor Newsom said, "These kinds of projects save lives and livelihoods, and we're scaling it up. It was work like this that helped communities like South Lake Tahoe and Pollock Pines avert unknowable destruction. Our goal is to stop devastation before it happens – to keep Californians safe, and preserve our communities and shared history."

Cal Fire's Wildfire Prevention Grants Program funds programs to protect people, structures, and communities. This year's investment adds to the 144 ongoing projects funded last year and includes hazardous fuels reduction and wildfire prevention planning and education. These projects support the goals and objectives of California's Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan, as well as the Strategic Fire Plan for California.

Cal Fire Director and Fire Chief Joe Tyler said, "Investing in communities before a wildfire strikes is a critical component of California's wildfire strategy. These proactive investments support local projects that protect, engage, and educate communities to increase wildfire prevention and resiliency efforts throughout the state. Wildfire is a year-round reality in California, and even though a historically wet winter was the exception this year, we are always ready for when conditions change and to continue our charge of creating a more wildfire resilient California. We are proud to help further this important and proactive work."

In San Diego County, the Pala Band of Mission Indians is one of many tribal organizations receiving funding for wildfire prevention efforts with a grant of $442,919.68. Their projects will include fuel reduction efforts to prevent roadside fires and provide safe evacuation routes near the community of Pala, which includes a 10-acre fuel break, planned as a result of the Mesa Fire which ignited June 21, 2021.

Rainbow Municipal Water District also received funding for its Defensible Space - Tanks, Reservoirs & Pump Stations project, $161,840. The vegetation mitigation project will reduce and/or prevent damage to water infrastructure and surrounding homes resulting from wildfire by creating areas of defensible space consistent with the County of San Diego's Fire Authority Defensible Space for Fire Protection Ordinance. The mitigation action will ultimately create defensible space in close proximity to critical facilities.

The Wildfire Prevention Grants Program is funded as part of California's Wildfire & Forest Resilience efforts with a portion of the program funded through California Climate Investments (CCI), which puts cap-and-trade dollars to work.

For more information about Cal Fire's Wildfire Prevention Grants, visit https://www.fire.ca.gov/what-we-do/grants/wildfire-prevention-grants.

Submitted by the Governor Gavin Newsom's Press Office.

 

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