California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office recently announced the allocation of $138 million for wildfire prevention grants statewide to help mitigate the risk of catastrophic wildfire. In budget negotiations for this year’s wildfire prevention funding, Senator and Assemblywoman Dahle identified a list of unfunded, shovel-ready projects throughout the First Assembly and Senate District prepared for immediate funding to fire safe communities.
Senator and Assemblywoman Dahle released the following statement in response to the governor’s announced funding and its inclusion of over $30 million to Fire Safe Councils in their districts who will now have the resources to complete several critical projects:
“We are excited to announce the data we gathered on unfunded projects was prioritized in the governor’s funding, and thankful for his trust in our local Fire Safe Councils’ abilities to do this critical work. Our local Fire Safe Councils will be able to use this $30 million to complete vegetation management projects that have been ready and waiting for state funding. This funding will give our brave firefighters a fighting chance to stop catastrophic fires before they destroy more lives, property and livelihoods.
“Over the last two years, more than 6 million acres have been destroyed by wildfire, much of which could have been avoided had we begun decades ago to mimic nature by clearing unnatural undergrowth mechanically and with controlled burns.
“This new funding will give our communities some of the resources necessary to prioritize areas that are prone or in danger of future wildfires, establishing much-needed firebreaks to protect communities. However, this is only a drop in the bucket compared to the scale and financial resources we will need to treat the millions of acres of forest in California. State and federal officials also need to focus on mobilizing the timber industry, reducing environmental regulation and costly red tape that holds up projects, and commit substantial, ongoing funds to wildfire prevention. We will continue to push for these reforms and fight to bring additional resources to our districts to create a safer North State.”