SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) has announced the availability of up to $155 million for Fire Prevention and Forest Health projects.
Cal Fire is soliciting applications for projects that will “help prevent catastrophic wildfires and restore forest health while also sequestering carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Cal Fire’s Fire Prevention Grants Program will provide funding for local projects that address the risk of wildfire and reduce wildfire potential to communities in, and adjacent to, forested areas. Qualified activities include hazardous fuel reduction, fire planning and fire prevention education with an emphasis on improving public health and safety.
These grants will provide funding for collaborative projects that include a mix of treatment activities at the landscape scale. Conservation easements and land acquisitions are also eligible under the Forest Legacy Program.
Examples of qualifying projects and activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Hazardous Fuel Reduction
- Removing dead and dying trees
- Vegetation clearance in critical locations to reduce wildfire intensity and rate of spread
- Creation or maintenance of fuel breaks in strategic locations, as identified in Cal Fire Unit Fire Plans, a Community Wildfire Protection Plan, or similar strategic planning document
- Removing ladder fuels to reduce the risk of crown fires
- Community level fire prevention programs, such as community chipping days, roadside chipping, and green waste bin programs
- Elective tree removal (thinning) to improve forest health to withstand wildfire
- Modification of vegetation adjacent to roads to provide for safer ingress and egress of evacuating residents and responding emergency personnel
- Reduction of fuel loading around critical firefighting infrastructure, including, but not limited to, fire hydrants, water drafting locations, and staging areas
Fire Prevention Education
- Workshops, meetings, materials creation, and other educational activities with the purpose of increasing knowledge and awareness of information that could be used to reduce the total number of wildland fire and acres burned.
Fire Prevention Planning
- Wildfire risk or related mapping.
- Creation of Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP).
- Development of evacuation plans.
- Creation of or updates to wildfire mitigation plans.
In addition to the $155 million, up to $3.5 million will be made available specifically for applied research studies that examine forest management and health to support forest landowners, resource agencies, and fire management organizations in California.
Details on the grant application and administration processes are available in each program’s Grant Guidelines. Find more information and sign up for announcements at www.fire.ca.gov/grants/grants.
Official Call for Applications:
Forest Health Program: The call for applications opened Oct. 1, and will be due by 3 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2019. Public workshops will be held throughout California starting Oct. 2.
Fire Prevention Program: The call for applications will open on Oct. 17, and will be due by 3 p.m. on Dec. 19.
“These grant programs are part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment– particularly in disadvantaged communities,” said Cal Fire in a statement released last week.
“These programs are also part of a broader effort outlined in the forest management executive order issued by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. earlier this year and the State Forest Carbon Plan, which seek to increase the ability of our forests to capture carbon and improve forest management, including reducing dangerous tree mortality and the impacts of wildfires.”