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Sacramento March 10, 2020 – CAL FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) this week awarded $43.5 million dollars to local organizations to reduce the risk of wildfires to homes and communities across California. Fifty-five local fire prevention projects are receiving funding for hazardous fuel reductions, wildfire preparedness planning and fire prevention education.
“We have doubled down on our efforts to clear brush, inspect homes for defensible space and reduce the risk of wildfires,” said Chief Thomas Porter, CAL FIRE director. “These 55 local projects will play a critical role in augmenting our fire prevention efforts.”
An example of this year’s grant awards includes a $1.9 million grant to the San Luis Obispo County Fire Safe Council for removing dead and dying trees and other hazardous fuels on 17 treatment areas throughout San Luis Obispo County. This project alone will reduce fire risk in nine communities, and will include a 600-acre prescribed burn near Lopez Lake park.
Another project receiving funding is a public education grant of nearly $100,000 to Forestry Educators Incorporated for its “2020 Forestry Challenge” in El Dorado County. The Forestry Challenge is an academic competition for high school students in technical forestry and current forestry topics. Participants spend four days in the forest learning about the ecology and management of the forested landscapes that provide communities with water, recreational opportunities and wood products.
CAL FIRE’s Fire Prevention Grant Program is part of the California Climate Investments (CCI). CCI is a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment – particularly in low income and disadvantaged communities. Award recipients include cities, counties, fire districts, Native American tribes and other non-profits. These projects all meet the goals and objectives of California’s Strategic Fire Plan adopted in 2019.
Since 2014, CAL FIRE has funded over 430 local fire prevention grants totaling more than $150 million. These projects and activities have addressed the risk of wildfire and reduced wildfire potential to communities in wildland urban interface areas.