More than a half dozen five-, six- and seven-figure state grants intended to reduce fire hazards and increase education about wildfire dangers are earmarked for entities in Los Angeles and Orange counties, it was announced this week.
The monetary outlays, part of nearly $138 million in funding for 105 local fire-safety projects across California, will enable public safety agencies to reduce the risk of wildfire through fuel reduction, emergency planning and fire prevention education, according to Cal Fire.
“This year, wildfires have once again been extremely severe and damaging, which only highlights our continued need to perform more community-based fire-prevention projects,” Cal Fire Chief Thomas Porter said.
“Our wildfire and forest strategy includes funding these types of fire-prevention projects to reduce the severity of wildfires and harden our communities.”
In April, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 85, which provided $536 million to accelerate forest health, fire prevention and climate resiliency. The allocation included $123 million for Cal Fire’s Fire Prevention Grant Program, including $50 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, with an additional $73 million coming from the state general fund.
The Los Angeles nonprofit Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, which was awarded $4.8 million, is one of many organizations receiving funding for its work to create fire-adapted communities in Southern California while building workforce capacity to assist in that goal.
The Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority will use its $617,862 grant to help maintain defensible spaces at the urban wildland interface, and reduce the fuel load with removal of dead and dying trees through goat grazing.
The San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps and Service Corps was awarded $611,597 for forest management that selectively removes invasive plants to reduce fire risk.