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It's Wildfire Awareness Week! Are you ready?

Fire Safe Council Announces $9.8M Towards a Safer California

SACRAMENTO — The California Fire Safe Council (CFSC), California’s leader in community resiliency and community wildfire risk reduction, is hosting an official press conference during Wildfire Awareness Week on May 5 in Sacramento. Following California’s driest 1st quarter ever recorded, the organization will be presenting its key pillars to support and protect residents and their communities across California this wildfire season: People, Projects, and Places. In a year when mitigation efforts will be more critical than ever, California Fire Safe Council has committed more than $9.8M for multiple grant funding projects and programs to increase community wildfire risk reduction and resiliency.

Image of a CAL FIRE trailer. During the California Fire Safe Council conference, the organization will outline its critical programs for 2022, which include a first of its kind statewide program dedicated to creating a county-level wildfire prevention program led by newly hired Fire Safe County Coordinators in 24 counties such as Sacramento, Plumas, Napa, San Mateo, Siskiyou, Butte, Trinity, Sonoma, and more. These key, local collaborators will be responsible for centralizing, overseeing, coordinating and implementing wildfire mitigation efforts within their county alongside counterpart mitigation groups and efforts. Later this year, through funding from California Climate Investments, in partnership with the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Grant Program, the CFSC will be offering capacity building grants to eligible non-profit organizations throughout the state to help with staffing, outreach and other needs that will assist groups on the ground in successfully managing the essential prevention and mitigation work they are conducting. Beginning this May 2022, a total of over $3M in grant funding will also be dedicated to evacuation route creation, planning, and maintenance under the 2021/2022 Wildfire Evacuation Route Planning and Development Grant Program awarded from CAL FIRE.

Additional tools and resources will be dedicated to creating defensible spaces, community fuel breaks, and home hardening plans on a community level. A new Defensible Space Assistance Program awarded from CAL FIRE will commit $3M towards defensible space treatments for low-income, senior and disadvantaged communities in high-risk zones across the state. Additionally, as part of the CFSC’s previous Listos Outreach Toolkits and Trailers Program, thirteen custom-built Wildfire Preparedness Trailers and forty-two toolkits were awarded to local community partners and Fire Safe Councils. The goal of the Toolkits and Trailers Program is to execute dynamic preparedness programs in regions including San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Sacramento, Placer County, Ventura County, Sonoma County, El Dorado County, Mendocino County, Santa Clara County, Nevada County, Mountain Rim, Ojai Valley, and other cities.

Image of fire fighters clearing brush. The California Fire Safe Council will host the 2022 Wildfire Awareness Week press conference during the Sacramento region’s Big Day of Giving on Thursday, May 5, at 11 a.m. at its Sacramento County HQ (3237 Peacekeeper Way, McClellan, CA). Speakers will include Hedi Jalon, Executive Director of California Fire Safe Council, and representatives from CAL FIRE, Cal OES, and other government agencies.

“The California Fire Safe Council is proud of our work to help all Californians stay safe during wildfire season,” said Jalon. “During Wildfire Awareness Week, we remind residents to be on alert and of the importance of taking collective responsibility in joining the wildfire fight. We are proud to stand by our partners today as they share valuable insight and resources on how individuals and communities can best prepare themselves. It’s also the perfect opportunity to highlight the important grant resources available to counties throughout California.”

Program Highlights Include:

PEOPLE

County Coordinators Grant Program // CAL FIRE – 2021 and Ongoing

Overview: The objective of the County Coordinators Grant is to educate, encourage, and develop county-wide collaboration and coordination among various wildfire mitigation groups operating within counties containing State Responsibility Area (SRA) lands.

Funding: $2.4 million was awarded to 24 counties in California. Funding will be opening to additional counties mid-2022.

County Coordinator Role: Each County Coordinator will develop their role as the leading resource for wildfire mitigation efforts within their county. They will build a census of groups, stakeholders, and projects and analyze gaps in county-wide wildfire resiliency. In addition, the County Coordinator will help support existing groups’ capacity by connecting them with resources, providing feedback on gaps in emergency planning and preparedness, and working to streamline their outreach and coordination efforts. The County Coordinator will work closely with the California Fire Safe Council, existing groups, governmental agencies, and community leaders to ensure that their county is ready and resilient against encroaching wildfire.

Fore more information, please visit https://cafiresafecouncil.org/grants-and-funding/2021-county-coordinators-grant-opportunity

PROJECTS

2021/2022 CAL FIRE Wildfire Evacuation Route Planning and Development Grant Program // Mid 2022-June 2023

Overview: This Evacuation Route Program will provide funding for evacuation route identification and planning, creation, fuel reduction, and maintenance during emergencies.

Funding: $3.75 million is available for evacuation route planning, creation, and maintenance.

Program duration: Program will begin mid-2022 and run through March 2025.

2022 CAL FIRE Defensible Space Services Grant Program // Coming June 2022

Overview: The Defensible Space Assistance Program will provide defensible space treatment for in high fire hazard severity zones, focusing on homeowners with special needs. The project will also assist with additional community risk reduction efforts such as outreach programs, community fuel break projects, home assessments, education about defensible space, home hardening, ember awareness, and home ignition zone issues. The Defensible Space Assistance program will build upon the pilot defensible space program currently underway by assisting low-income, senior and disadvantaged communities. Project locations will be determined later this year through a competitive application process.

Funding: A total of $3 million is available for defensible space projects. Organizations in six counties will be allocated $500,000 each to implement their defensible space and education projects.

Program duration: Program will begin mid-2022 and run through March 2025.

2021 Pacific Gas & Electric Ready and Resilient Grant Program // Ongoing through November 2022

Overview: The Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Ready and Resilient Grant Program goal is to improve community hardening with coordinated communications and capacity-building. This program will develop the operational coordination and capacity of the many local and regional wildfire community hardening efforts. Projects are in high and very high fire hazard severity zones in Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) communities.

Funding: $500,000 was made available to five organizations in El Dorado County, Sonoma, Lassen, San Luis Obispo and Yuba counties.

Locations: El Dorado County, Sonoma, Lassen, San Luis Obispo, and Yuba counties.

Program duration: Projects started in late 2021 and will continue through November 30, 2022.

PLACES

Listos Outreach Toolkits and Trailers

Overview: Through a generous grant from Listos CA, custom toolkits and trailers provided by the California Fire Safe Council are being utilized on the ground in communities and organized by neighbors to increase wildfire preparedness, prevention, and mitigation. These tools and trailers provide essential community support in wildfire mitigation and prevention and offer an easy way to engage the surrounding community, supporting the implementation of fuel reduction programs such as community chipper programs, fuel breaks, and roadside and defensible space projects. These programs also utilize educational tools to spread the Live Fire Safe message and inspire and engage communities.

Funding: Through the overall program, 42 Outreach Toolkits and Thirteen Trailer Toolkits were awarded, and including resources and support, totaled over $500,000 in funding.

Locations: San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Sacramento, Placer County, Ventura County, Sonoma County, El Dorado County, Mendocino County, Santa Clara County, Nevada County, Mountain Rim, Ojai Valley, Oakland, Ojai Valley, Bishop, Lassen County, and other cities.

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It’s Wildfire Awareness Week! Are You Ready?

Here are some things you can do:

  • Get alerts.
  • Make a plan.
  • Pack your go-bag.
  • Build a stay box.
  • Help others.

Home preparedness is critical. Residents are encouraged to remove dry and flammable vegetation within five feet of home structures, including branches, weeds, dead grasses, and more, to help eliminate sparks reaching your home. It’s also beneficial to eliminate vegetation limbs and small trees from around ground-level porches and decks. Creating defensible space around homes will improve the chance of residents and their homes surviving a fire.

To find out how your Fire Safe Council keeps the community fire safe and learn more about fire prevention tips, follow them at @CAFireSafeCouncil on Facebook and @CAFireSafe @CalOES @CalVols on Twitter, and get involved by sharing updates using #CFSCwildfireawareness and #WildfireAwarenessWeek.

To support the California Fire Safe Council during the Big Day of Giving and to assist them in continuing to flexibly respond and support the state’s essential wildfire prevention needs, please donate at www.cafiresafecouncil.org.

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