State to Pump $536 Million Into Wildfire Prevention

Drought conditions are returning to California and Sacramento is wasting no time on fire prevention efforts. Lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a $536 million proposal Thursday to improve wildfire prevention and response across the state. That’s more than double the amount contained in the governor’s original wildfire prevention plan.

“The package will fund forest management projects to reduce catastrophic wildfire risk and restore the ecological health of forests, fuel breaks around vulnerable communities to protect residents and property, and community hardening infrastructure to mitigate wildfire damage. The Governor has also proposed a $1 billion investment in forest health and community fire resilience,” according to a press release.

Prescribed burns, brush clearance, and various other prevention and suppression efforts will account for $350 million. Another $25 million will be used to fortify older at-risk homes.

Gov. Newsom visited a fuel break in Fresno County to tout the legislative package.

“Perhaps nowhere is the threat of wildfires caused by climate change more evident than here in Fresno County, where the state’s tree mortality caused by drought stress is greatest. Fuel breaks, like the one we toured today, play a key role because they can disrupt fire behavior, slow progression and provide crews with a place to take a stand against the fire,” he said.

The state had a dry winter and parched conditions are expected to last until late 2021. Fire officials are anticipating another terrible fire season as a result.