RCRC First Vice Chair Randy Hanvelt (Tuolumne) testified yesterday before the Senate Budget Fiscal Review Committee on the impacts of wildfires on local communities. Supervisor Hanvelt’s testimony was part of an informational hearing on the devastating 2017 wildfires and how the state should handle fire prevention and forest management going forward.
Supervisor Hanvelt specifically addressed the impacts of the 2013 Rim Fire on Tuolumne County, including the devastation of the ecosystem and what little has been done to aid in reforestation of the impacted forest since the fire took place. He also addressed issues with coordination between state and federal responders, emergency notification problems, and the need for a more concerted effort to manage federal lands for greater fire resilience to prevent catastrophic events like the Rim Fire.
The hearing is just one piece of the Legislature’s efforts to address fire prevention and emergency response prevent the type of profound losses that occurred in the 2017 fires. Several bills have been proposed to address various issues surrounding fire prevention, homeowners insurance cancelations in fire risk areas, emergency response, prescribed burning, and other components to help better manage wildfire risk and prevention in the future.