Cal Fire will receive an estimated $15 million grant to remove dead trees and initiate other measures in an effort to prevent wildfires.
The $15.75 million grant will be disbursed among 34 California counties, with $2,600,000 going to Fresno County, $727,000 to Madera County and $200,000 to Tulare County, according to officials.
Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire director and California’s state forester, said they will minimize wildfires by not only removing dead trees and hazardous fuel, but through education and planning.
About $9.75 million will be administered through the state responsibility area fire prevention program to build wildfire prevention projects and $6 million will be used for the removal of dead and dying trees. Authorities also said the state-funded grant will also remove trees that could potentially fall on roads, homes and other infrastructure.
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Since the beginning of 2016, Cal Fire has experienced a 23 percent increase in wildfires. It responded to an estimated 5,700 wildfires in 2016.
Aside from the grant, Cal Fire will conduct prescribed burns to 35,000 acres and administer 250,000 defensible space inspections to certify that homeowners clear at least 100 feet around homes or other structures.
Pimlott said they eagerly anticipate the results of these projects.