SACRAMENTO – Three agencies in Madera and Mariposa Counties that are dedicated to fire safety and resource conservation have been awarded over half-a-million dollars in grants for projects designed to address the massive tree mortality across the area.
Cal Fire announced Monday it has awarded 19 State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund grants in six counties that have been greatly affected by tree mortality.
Over $1.7 million was approved for local projects focused on the removal of dead and dying trees in order to reduce the wildfire threat around homes within the counties of Fresno, Kern, Madera, Mariposa, Tulare and Tuolumne.
Grants in Madera County include:
- Yosemite/Sequoia Resource Conservation & Development Council — $99,702 to the North Fork Biomass Disposal Facility for Biomass Processing Operation
- Timberview Area Firewise Improvement Council — $50,000 to the Timberview Area Firewise Improvement Council Hazardous Fuel Reduction Project to
purchase a chipper and pay for CEQA
- Mariposa County Fire Safe Council, Inc. — $97,000 for the Hazard Reduction Lake Shore Park in Bass Lake for the removal of dead and dying trees
Grants in Mariposa County include:
- Yosemite/Sequoia Resource Conservation & Development Council — $98,482 to Yosemite West Hazardous Fuel Reduction Project for a Dead Tree/Brush/Defensible Space project
- Mariposa County Fire Safe Council, Inc. — $93,390 for Reducing the Threat via Removal of Downed Dead Trees and Creating Defensible Space
- Mariposa County Fire Safe Council, Inc. — $85,750 to the Mariposa Countywide Community Chipping of Hazardous Fuels Program
A full list of the grant recipients can be found at http://www.fire.ca.gov/communications/downloads/2015-16GrantsList.pdf
California’s 2015-16 State Budget provided for $5 million in local grants from the State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund aimed at funding local entities’ efforts to augment Cal Fire’s ongoing fire prevention activities. The remaining $3.2 million of grant funds to be awarded will follow the established review process over the next couple of months and will support projects that contribute to fire prevention efforts around homes across the State within the State Responsibility Area.
“With over 29 million dead or dying trees and following a very devastating fire season in California, the work that these grants will produce is essential in preventing destructive wildfires and protecting Californians in areas hit hard by tree mortality,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director and state forester. “These projects will lead to positive results in those counties hit hardest by tree mortality due to drought and bark beetle infestation.”
Cal Fire says they have worked quickly to streamline and expedite the review and approval of the grants based on the Oct. 30, 2015 Governor’s State of Emergency due to tree mortality. These projects are aimed at reinforcing Cal Fire’s ongoing efforts to reduce the risk and potential impacts of large, damaging wildfires in areas experiencing significant tree mortality.
To learn more about the bark beetle epidemic and the effects on California’s trees, visit: www.PrepareForBarkBeetle.org.