New Web Resources Help Californians Find Relief from Smoke and Prepare for Wildfires

New Web Resources Help Californians Find Relief from Smoke and Prepare for Wildfires


Clean Air Centers Maps Shows Where to Find Relief from Wildfire Smoke: On June 24, the California Air Resources Board announced the launch of an interactive, statewide map that offers a one-stop-shop for information about the location and services available at Clean Air Centers. Clean Air Centers will offer Californians who don’t have access to adequate air filtration a safe place to go during periods of heavy smoke. Built in collaboration with local air quality control districts, the online map makes it possible to see where Clean Air Centers are located and provides easy-to-access information, including operating hours, contact information and on-site resources like free Wi-Fi.

 CAL FIRE Updates Wildfire Preparedness Website: In preparation for the fire year, CAL FIRE has updated the ReadyForWildfire.org site. This one-stop-shop provides advice and guidance on everything from home hardening and defensible space, to what to pack for evacuation, to what California is doing to enhance and protect forest health.


California National Forests Complete Record Number of Prescribed Fire Acres

California National Forests Complete Record Number of Prescribed Fire Acres


As of June 24, the USFS has treated 63,878 acres with prescribed fire on national forests in California. The previous record was set in 2018 when 63,711 acres were treated. USFS fire managers are using prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuels and reduce threats to communities from extreme fires. Reintroducing fire also minimizes the spread of pest insects and disease, recycles nutrients back to the soil, and improves natural conditions for native flora and fauna.


Federal Climate Financial Report Demonstrates Need for Proactive Action on Wildfire Resilience

Federal Climate Financial Report Demonstrates Need for Proactive Action on Wildfire Resilience


Over the last decade, suppression has cost the USFS and the Department of the Interior an average of more than $3 billion per year. The Climate Financial Risk report provides estimates for 10 future climate scenarios and a wide range of projections for fire extent and fire suppression spending. A central estimate across the 10 future climate scenarios shows that lands in the National Forest System would experience a near doubling of the area burned by mid-century (2041-2059) and a 42% increase in costs by 2050, to $3.9 billion. Anticipated increased costs of fire suppression due to climate change brings additional urgency to the need for proactive wildfire risk reduction treatments and efforts to protect and prepare communities ahead of wildfires.


Wildfire Preparedness Week – Meeting the Mission Through Partnerships

Wildfire Preparedness Week – Meeting the Mission Through Partnerships


May 5, 2024 – Governor Newsom issued a proclamation declaring May 5-11, 2024 as California’s “Wildfire Preparedness Week.” This year’s Wildfire Preparedness Week theme, Meeting the Mission Through Partnerships, emphasizes the importance of collaboration and collective responsibility in reducing and managing wildfire risk. California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CAL OES) and CAL FIRE will be hosting a series of events to provide valuable wildfire safety and preparedness tips in Sacramento, San Mateo, San Luis Obispo, and Orange counties. Federal partners in California, including the USFS, National Park Service, BLM, and Bureau of Indian Affairs, are launching an online campaign focused on wildland fire safety and prevention while recreating on public lands.

At the community level, Californians can make their neighborhoods safer by creating defensible space around homes, hardening homes, developing wildfire action plans and teaming up to join Fire Safe Councils and Firewise Communities, which work to regularly assess wildfire risk and prioritize action to address it. Visit ReadyForWildfire.org to learn about steps to prepare for wildfire season and help prevent loss of life and property and explore the Task Force’s webpage dedicated to advancing Fire Adapted Communities.


California Accelerates Nature-Based Solutions

California Accelerates Nature-Based Solutions to Achieve Climate Targets and Reduce Wildfire Risk


May 2024: Nature-based solutions (NBS) harness the power of nature to build California’s resilience to future climate-driven extremes, protect communities from the climate crisis, and remove carbon from our atmosphere. On April 22, California released its NBS climate targets which sets ambitious targets for wildfire risk reduction, including scaling up the state’s utilization of beneficial fire and other fuel reduction activities, as well as reducing community wildfire risks. NBS targets are tailored to California’s varied and unique landscapes, with goals to promote healthy landscapes and restore historic fire regimes. NBS climate targets align with goals in California’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan.


Recap of The Southern California Regional Meeting

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REGIONAL MEETING RECAP


April 4, 2024

A full-capacity audience of over 300 people came together at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido (with over 200 joining online) for the Governor’s Wildfire & Forest Resilience Task Force’s Southern California regional meeting. Hosted by the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County and the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, the agenda and activities focused on landscapes and land management issues unique to Southern California, including cultural burning, utilities & infrastructure, and regional planning and implementation.

If you couldn’t make it in person, or missed the real-time webinar, video recordings are available below.

REGIONAL MEETING AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS

  • Director’s Report: Director Wright provided an update on recent accomplishments and investments in Southern California, progress being made on Task Force key actions and products as well as an overview of the process to update the Task Force Action Plan.
  • Southern California’s Unique Landscapes & Challenges: University researchers discussed threats to the incredibly biodiverse region and management techniques needed to build ecological resilience in the densely populated, shrubland dominated region. Additionally, an update on Regional Resource Kits and how they can be utilized in the region was provided.
  • Regional Leadership Panel: Regional leaders shared local project highlights and showcased their efforts to develop landscape-scale projects and align federal, state, and regional plans, priorities, and investments.
  • Cultural Fire & Indigenous Stewardship: A panel of cultural practitioners and resource managers discussed obstacles and barriers facing cultural burners, including difficulties in obtaining burn permits, threats to tribal sovereignty, and the continued struggles of California tribes to overcome structural racism in order to maintain traditions and steward ancestral lands.
  • The Role of Utilities & Infrastructure in Wildfire Resilience: A panel of energy, water, and transportation agency representatives discussed new and emerging strategies to address wildfire impacts to infrastructure as well as the role utilities play in reducing ignitions.

View Full AgendaCAL-SPAN VIDEO

Welcome & Opening Remarks


• Lisa Peterson, San Diego Zoo Safari Park

• Stephen W. Cope, San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians

• Jennifer Eberlien, USDA Forest Service

• Task Force Executive Committee

• Joel Anderson, San Diego County Supervisor


Director's Report


• Patrick Wright, Task Force


Southern CA's Unique Landscapes & Challenges


• Megan Jennings, San Diego State University

• John Battles, University of California, Berkeley


Regional Leadership Panel


• Moderator: Kathy Peterson

• Susie Kirschner, Inland Empire Resource Conservation District

• Scott Tangenberg, Cleveland National Forest

• Heather Marlow, Greater SD County Resource Conservation District

• Sal Reyes, San Bernardino National Forest

• Eric Just, CAL FIRE


Trailer Screening: MAATHAAW: The Fire Within Us


•Learn more and donate at: qrco.de/maathaaw


Cultural Fire & Indigenous Stewardship


• Moderator: Will Madrigal Jr., Climate Science Alliance

• Wesley Ruise Jr., La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians

• Marlene’ Dusek, Climate Science Alliance

• Kevin Soland, KRS Environmental Consulting

• Emily Burgueno, Kumeyaay Diegueno Land Conservency

• Travis Armstrong, CAL FIRE

• Joel Arellano, Climate Science Alliance


The Role of Utilities & Infrastructure in Wildfire Resilience


• Moderator: Phil Saksa, Blue Forest

• Caroline Thomas Jacobs, Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety

• Thom Porter, San Diego Gas and Electric

• David Guzman, Southern California Edison

• Greg Woodside, San Bernardino Municipal Water District

• Lisa Worthington, Caltrans


Closing Remarks


• Task Force Co-Chairs



SNC Celebrates 20 Years of Impact and Awards $27.5 Million to Forest Resilience & Community Protection Projects

SNC Celebrates 20 Years of Impact and Awards $27.5 Million to Forest Resilience & Community Protection Project


The Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) released a report of accomplishments made with its partners over the past 20 years. SNC is keeping up the good work with the announcement of $27.5 million to 16 different projects that help with the planning and implementation of forest-health efforts that promote recovery and resilience throughout the Sierra-Cascade. Of the 16 projects awarded, eight went to the implementation of shovel-ready projects in Amador, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, and Tulare counties.


CA Climate Hub Receives USFS Region 5 Partnership of the Year Award

California Climate Hub Receives USFS Region 5 Partnership of the Year Award


The USDA Forest Service Region 5 awarded the California Climate Hub the 2023 Honor Award for Partnership of the Year for their efforts to develop and deliver climate literacy and web-based climate tools trainings. The trainings familiarized participants with relevant information on climate and climate models and provided hands-on experience using two web-based climate data tools: Cal-Adapt and Climate Toolbox. Additionally, the California Climate Hub has designed and delivered a series of workshops focused on the applications of the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force’s Regional Resource Kits. The most recent workshop gathered forest managers from local, state, and federal agencies at Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Redding.


Map of North Yuba Landscape Resilience Project

North Yuba Landscape Resilience Project

Map of North Yuba Landscape Resilience Project

North Yuba Landscape Resilience Project an Example of Collaborative Funding


A 2020 Sierra Nevada Conservancy grant in support of planning efforts by the North Yuba Forest Partnership leveraged a $160 million USFS investment which will allow much-needed work to be completed across 275,000 acres of federal land within the North Yuba River watershed. While federal projects are ramping up, others have already started thanks to private funding from a forest resilience bond created by Blue Forest Conservation.


Explore the Treatment Dashboard - Take The Survey

On Tuesday, November 14 the Task Force hosted a Virtual Public Workshop on the CA Wildfire & Landscape Resilience Interagency Treatment Dashboard. The goal of the workshop was to gather input from those using the Treatment Tracking System and Dashboard to improve how data is accessed and displayed, and to ensure we are providing transparency and effective planning information on statewide wildfire resilience treatments. 

If you missed the workshop, or want to look back at what was covered, click on the buttons above to watch a video of the presentation from Alan Talhelm, Assistant Deputy Director for Climate and Energy at CAL FIRE, and a key architect of the Dashboard. You can also view and download Alan’s presentation and take a moment to answer a quick survey for gathering additional  input on how the Dashboard can be most effective.