RCRC supports Senate Bill 945, authored by Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil (D-Jackson). This measure requires the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), in consultation with CAL FIRE, the Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force and the California Air Resources Board, to create and maintain a statewide integrated wildfire smoke and health data platform to integrate wildfire smoke and health data from multiple databases to provide greater understanding of the negative impacts of wildfire smoke on the state’s population.  

Independent studies have shown that the past several years of prolific wildfire activity across the state have also increased pollution from particulate matter and other toxic air contaminants resulting from wildfire smoke. The far-reaching smoke impacts of large, high-severity wildfires has yet to be quantified by California’s air quality and health departments with the same diligence as other pollutant sources such as motor vehicles, even though studies have shown that the annual emissions from California’s wildfires during the most severe fire years have outpaced emissions from some other sources.  

SB 945 would require CDPH to establish a statewide platform to integrate wildfire smoke and health date from various sources to better understand the true impacts of wildfire smoke and the need to mitigate future catastrophic wildfire events for the sake of public health.  

The bill recently passed the Senate Health Committee and was placed on consent. SB 945 is awaiting action in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. RCRC joined the California Forest Watershed Alliance (CAFWA) in a letter of support, which is available here. For more information, please contact RCRC Senior Policy Advocate, Staci Heaton.