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Rural Fire Fee Funds Local Prevention Projects

SACRAMENTO – Some of the monies collected from property owners in the mountain area through the yearly “rural fire fee” are slated to return to the community as grant funding for local projects.

On Monday, Apr. 4, Cal Fire announced it had awarded an additional $3 million in grants throughout the state for a variety of fire prevention projects aimed at reducing the elevated threat of wildfires due to the ongoing drought and significant tree mortality.

The announcement comes just two months after Cal Fire released nearly $2 million for fire prevention projects in the counties hit hardest by tree mortality and bark beetle.

Projects funded in Madera and Mariposa County include:

  • North Fork Biomass Disposal Facility – $99,702
  • Timberview Area Firewise Improvement Council Hazardous Fuel Reduction Project – $50,000
  • Yosemite West Hazardous Fuel Reduction Project – $98,482
  • Reducing the Threat via Removal of Downed Dead Trees Mariposa County – $93,390
  • Mariposa Countywide Community Chipping of Hazardous Fuels Program – $85,750
  • Hazard Reduction Lake Shore Park Bass Lake CA – $97,000

“This grant funding will help communities prepare for what is likely to be another challenging fire season,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire director and California’s state forester. “These grants will help complete vital fire prevention projects to help mitigate some of the impacts created by four years of drought and hazardous fuel build up.”

The grants are part of $5 million from the State Responsibility Area (SRA) Fire Prevention Fund allowing local fire departments and fire districts to create projects that help to reduce the threat of wildfires around homes within the SRA.

With this announcement for funding of 44 additional projects, it brings the total number of projects funded to 63. These projects are aimed at reinforcing and augmenting Cal Fire’s ongoing projects and efforts to address the risk and potential impacts of large, damaging wildfires. Grant selection criteria weighted projects that address fire risk and potential impact of wildfire to habitable structures in the SRA, as well as community support and project feasibility.

A full list of the grant projects can be viewed at: http://www.fire.ca.gov/grants/downloads/2016_FuelReducionGrants.pdf

While firefighters are busy working on fire prevention projects including brush clearance, fire breaks and fuel reduction, officials stress the need for residents to do their part.

“This is the time of year when residents should be working to ensure they have 100 feet of Defensible Space around their homes,” says Cal Fire. “This includes removing all dead or dying grass, brush and trees, limbing up branches six feet from the ground, and cleaning leaves, needles or debris off roofs and gutters.”

Learn more at www.ReadyForWildfire.org.

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