Earlier today, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency to speed up fire prevention efforts. The Governor announced providing $24 million in six fire-prone counties to assist community-based organizations in spreading the word about wildfire threat, and grants for groups that help pets and farm animals during disasters. Another $12 million will fund local and regional response teams, and $13 million will finance a public awareness campaign.
“The increasing wildfire risks we face as a state mean we simply can’t wait until a fire starts in order to start deploying emergency resources,” Newsom said in a statement. “California needs sustained focus and immediate action in order to better protect our communities.”
Governor Newsom’s Executive Order addresses more than 2 million rural California homes, most of which are in high fire hazard zones. The Executive Order also suspends CEQA requirements for 35 immediate projects identified earlier this month in CAL FIRE’s 45-Day Report, which include fuel breaks, fire access roads, and fuels reduction projects in areas across the state, including many in RCRC member counties. CAL FIRE is already engaging local governments in beginning work on these projects. Details on all 35 projects may be accessed here.