During a press call today, Vice President Harris, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and White House Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu announced $197 million in funding awards to make communities more resilient to wildfires and strengthen the federal, state and local response. 

Nevada County will receive funding for two projects, including an update of the county-wide Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP.)

The Vice President kicked off the call by referencing today’s IPCC report. She continued: “Let’s transform how we think about fighting fires. For years, for example, our nation has invested primarily in wildfire response, putting fires out after they start. But to meet this moment, how about if we expand our focus to invest not just in response, but in prevention – which is, of course, about preparedness and resilience. Because we know the best time to fight a fire is before it starts.”

The 100 grant proposals from 22 states and seven tribes that were impacted or threatened by wildfires were selected in the initial round of funding under the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program, which makes $1 billion available over five years to assist at-risk communities.

The Forest Service used the three priorities outlined in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to narrow down the communities in greatest need. These priorities included communities impacted by severe disaster, those with high or very high wildfire hazard potential or classified as low income.

“Projects were selected using a collaborative, inclusive process that engaged tribes and state forestry agencies,” said Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. “All projects include at least two of the primary selection criteria mandated in the legislation. And in all cases, these projects are taking critical steps to protect homes, property, businesses, and people’s lives from catastrophic wildfires.”

Funded projects include:

  • Nevada County, CWPP Update
    $250,000 to update the Nevada County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) thereby providing a scientifically defensible and locally endorsed road map articulating the severity of the hazards that exist and the priority actions that must be taken to mitigate the risk for all communities in Nevada County, CA.
  • Nevada County Resource Conservation District, Prescribed Fire Training for Private Residential Landowners, Nevada County WUI
    $392,542 to provide prescribed fire tools and training to private residents of Nevada County to increase the capacity to carry out prescribed treatments.
  • Sierra County Firesafe & Watershed Council, Sierraville Fuels Reduction
    $2,114,437 to conduct mechanical treatments on a minimum of 500 acres to connect two landscape-scale fuels reduction and community protection projects adjacent to public lands.
  • Sierra County, Sierra County Community Wildfire Mitigation Leadership
    $203,550 to provide planning and project coordination for all of Sierra County.
  • Sierra County, Sierra County CWPP Update
    $51,000 to update the Sierra County CWPP.
  • Yuba County Community Wildfire Protection Plan Update
    $210,646 to update the Yuba Foothills Community Wildfire Protection Plan through community engagement, stakeholder collaboration, and integration of new technologies. This area encompasses local, state, and federal lands near the Tahoe National Forest and Plumas National Forest. The plan is a long-term, large-scale strategic plan for the Yuba County Foothills that leverages local collaboration to develop and prioritize wildfire prevention, preparedness, and resilience opportunities that support and protect local communities and watersheds.
  • Plumas County Fire Safe Council, Plumas County Hazardous Fuels Assessment and Implementation
    $6,835,975 to provide 2,000 acres of hazardous fuels reduction and conduct an update of the county-wide Hazardous Fuels Assessment and subsequently initiate implementation of the Assessments recommended priority projects to reduce wildfire risk to the most vulnerable communities and landscapes.
  • Feather River Resource Conservation District, Plumas Emergency Forest Restoration
    $8,543,433 to provide hazardous fuels reduction and tree planting for ecological restoration over the next 5 years on 5,000 acres of lands impacted by large fire.
  • Butte County Fire Department, Butte County Fire Defensible Space Inspection Project
    $4,900,000 to implement a comprehensive year-round Defensible Space Inspection (DSI) program that focuses on community outreach and voluntary compliance while also providing a process to enforce local defensible space and vegetation management regulations for parcels that remain persistently non-compliant.
  • Butte County Fire Department, Butte County Fire Equipment Acquisition
    $1,500,000 to purchase excavator equipment for an 8,000-acre Hazardous Fuel Reduction project.

The full list of the 100 projects in 22 states and 7 tribes can be found here.