More than $15 million across 34 counties in California, including more than $700,000 in Madera County, will be used to remove dead and dying trees to help prevent wildfires, Cal Fire announced.
Cal Fire awarded the $15.75 million in 107 grants to various fire safe councils, resource conservation districts, cities, counties, park districts, fire departments, and other agencies. The funds will help reduce the public safety threat of at-risk trees falling on roads, homes, or people.
Fire Prevention and Tree Mortality Grants will help rural California cope with a tree mortality crisis connected to an ongoing five-year drought. An estimated 102 million trees have died in California forests since 2010, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Since Jan. 1 this year, Cal Fire has responded to over 5,700 wildfires, an increased of 23% over the last year.
The grant funds are targeted towards communities in the State Responsibility Area (SRA), where the state is financially responsible for the prevention and suppression of wildfire.
“Communities in high-risk areas for wildfire and tree mortality need assistance and support,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire Director and state forester. “These grants focus on reducing wildfire risk through education, planning, and the removal of dead trees and hazardous fuel. We look forward to seeing the results of these projects and the safeguarding effects they have on communities.”
In Madera County, the following grants were approved, all for removing dead or dying trees:
☆ Yosemite/Sequoia RC&D Council, $199,161
☆ Foundation for Resource Conservation, Inc., $129,391
☆ Coarsegold Resource Conservation District, $198,882
☆ Madera County, $199,974
A full list can be seen at fire.ca.gov/Grants/downloads/2017_SRA_TM_GrantAwardees.pdf.