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Cal Fire Lauds More Wildfire Funding

With another potentially brutal wildfire season ahead, Governor Newsom has reached a deal with legislative leaders for additional prevention funding that can be used right away. The Legislature has already increased Cal Fire’s budget by hundreds of millions of dollars in the last few years to augment suppression capabilities. But this agreement, for 536-million dollars, centers largely on improving resiliency in forests and other vulnerable areas. The Public Information Officer for Cal Fire’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit, Mary Eldridge, says while it won’t likely mean more firefighters, it will allow earlier seasonal staffing…

click to listen to Mary Eldridge

And as state prison populations have declined, so have inmate crews, Eldridge says. The money might also help with existing prevention projects in Nevada County…

click to listen to Mary Eldridge

The agreement also includes more funding for “home hardening”, or the retrofitting of homes in wildfire-prone areas. Also, improvements in defensible space and forestry and vegetation management. Last year, a record four-million acres burned in California.

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