California Fire Foundation allocates funding for wildfire safety grants


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The California Fire Foundation (CFF) has recently awarded wildfire safety grants to 49 local fire departments, fire agencies, and community groups in Northern and Central California, with backing from the PG&E Corporation Foundation.

Supporting high-risk wildfire areas

For the sixth consecutive year, these grants, totalling $730,000 this year, have been granted.

The focus is on aiding agencies located in high wildfire-risk zones to improve their disaster preparedness and response capabilities.

This announcement coincides with National Preparedness Month, recognised each September to highlight the necessity of disaster preparedness.

Where the funding will be allocated

The funds will be used for buying personal protective equipment for firefighters.

They will also support defensible space creation, vegetation management tasks, fuels and hazards reduction.

Moreover, there will be an emphasis on fire safety public education and outreach.

The PG&E Foundation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company have shown support to CFF’s broader 2023 Wildfire Safety and Preparedness Program (WSPP) with a significant contribution of $1.4 million.

The main aim is to intensify wildfire safety awareness across California and channel resources to communities with high fire threats.

Rick Martinez, Executive Director of the California Fire Foundation, said: “Californians are better prepared for wildfires due to the WSPP and our association with PG&E.

“These grants support projects from fuels reduction to community education and obtaining new equipment.”

Wildfire safety grants: Achievements and goals of the WSPP

From 2018 onwards, 314 fire departments and agencies across the state have been granted $3.79 million through this grant program.

Every year, the program has seen an increase in applications.

The funding specifically targets areas with high fire risks, as indicated by the California Public Utilities Commission High Fire-Threat District map.

Mark Quinlan, PG&E’s Senior Vice President of Wildfire & Emergency Operations, highlighted the collaborative efforts: “We are thankful for our six-year association with the California Fire Foundation.

“Community education, awareness and resources like those offered by the Wildfire Safety and Preparedness Program are crucial for wildfire resilience.”

How the WSPP helps communities

This year’s grant recipients have secured 2,800 pieces of personal protection equipment.

Additionally, they managed hazardous tree and brush removal across 176 acres and safely removed over 380,500 pounds of potential fire hazards.

Fire safety education was delivered in several counties, potentially benefiting over 1.8 million residents.

PG&E and the PG&E Foundation’s continued support for WSPP marks a six-year collaboration, having donated $7.4 million overall for fire safety awareness. Importantly, this contribution is funded by shareholders and not by PG&E customers.

IFSJ Comment

The wildfire threat in California has been a significant concern over the years. The latest collaboration between the PG&E Corporation Foundation and the California Fire Foundation demonstrates a proactive approach towards mitigating this threat.

The emphasis on community education, equipping firefighters with essential tools, and disaster preparedness is commendable.

Funding high-risk wildfire zones and ensuring communities have the necessary resources for prevention and response can make a notable difference.

Collaborative initiatives like this serve as an example for other regions facing similar challenges.

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