Aerial view of residential modern subdivision

OPR Releases Wildfire Technical Advisory and WUI Planning Guide

Aerial view of residential modern subdivision

OPR Releases new resources:  Fire Hazard Planning Technical Advisory and WUI Planning Guide


In an important step forward on two key requirements in the Task Force Action plan, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) today published new resources to support local agencies and communities as they plan for wildfire at the community scale. 

The first is OPR’s updated Fire Hazard Planning Technical Advisory (TA) which helps cities and counties address and reduce wildfire risk in their general plans. They also released the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Planning Guide. This publication complements the TA by providing specific examples and best practice case studies to communities to reference as they plan and implement wildfire solutions.

OPR is an important Task Force partner, and these valuable publications will contribute to the Task Force’s goal of strengthening the protection of communities across California

To learn more, read the OPR announcement and sign up for an informational webinar on September 14th, 2022.

Read the Report

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OPR Wildfire Planning Resources

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Informational Webinar: OPR’s Wildfire Guidance & Resources

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burning residential neighborhood

Cal OES Awards $25 Million to Local Organizations to Protect Vulnerable Communities

burning residential neighborhood

Cal OES Awards $25 Million to Local Organizations to Protect Vulnerable Communities from Disasters


 In this second wave of funding, the California Department of Emergency Services awarded grants to 93 community partners to ensure the state’s most vulnerable are ready when disaster strikes. These grants prioritize communities that are considered both socially vulnerable and at a high risk of being impacted by wildfire, flood, earthquake, drought or heatwave.

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tree starts

Governor Signs State Forest and Wildfire Budget

tree starts

Governor Signs State Forest and Wildfire Budget


On June 30, Governor Newsom signed a state budget that includes an additional $670 million for programs that will provide immediate benefits during the 2022 fire season and help the state prepare for the 2023 fire season. Key investments (Link pending) include $400 million for wildfire resilience projects, $265 million for strategic fuel breaks, and $5 million to expand defensible space inspections. The budget also sets aside an additional $530 million over two years for forest and wildfire resilience programs that will be allocated in the summer pending additional discussions with the legislature.

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forest and lake

Forestry project complete at Feather River reservoir

forest and lake

Forestry project complete at Feather River reservoir


The Little Grass Valley Reservoir Watershed Project will have a big impact when it comes to protecting local communities and valuable water infrastructure from wildfire.

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Photo of Yuba Forest

High Risk Landscapes To Receive $80.7M in U.S. Forest Service Funding

Photo of Yuba Forest

Two High Wildfire Risk Landscapes To Receive $80.7M in U.S. Forest Service Funding


Targeted investments for first high-risk areas identified in Tahoe and Stanislaus National Forests.

April 20, 2022 – As part of the Forest Service’s strategy for Confronting the Wildfire Crisis, two landscapes within the Stanislaus and Tahoe national forests will receive targeted investments to increase forest resiliency and health through a broad range of treatments. These two forests will collectively receive $28.6 million in 2022 and an additional $52.1 million over the next three years, for a total of $80.7 million. This funding is being appropriated through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The North Yuba Landscape Resilience area on the Tahoe National Forest and the SERAL (Social and Ecological Resilience Across the Landscape) area on the Stanislaus National Forest are two of 10 landscapes selected nationally to receive this funding. Overall, the 10 landscapes will receive $131 million this year to begin implementing our 10-year strategy for protecting communities and improving resilience in America’s forests.

In addition to state and federal agencies, these two landscape-scale restoration efforts are supported by partnerships with Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions, Tuolumne County, the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk, the North Yuba Forest Partnership – which includes Sierra County and the Nisenan of the Nevada City Rancheria – and several others. To find out more about the initial landscape investments, visit WCS Initial Landscape Investments- USDA Forest Service.

 


Tahoe National Forest: 

The 313,000-acre North Yuba Landscape is one of the largest contiguous “unburned” landscapes remaining in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The North Yuba watershed is also an important water source for residential and agricultural areas surrounding Sacramento. It feeds a reservoir retained by the tallest dam in California, which also provides power to the Sacramento area. Through ecologically based thinning and prescribed fire, the North Yuba Forest Partnership seeks to protect North Yuba communities from the threat of catastrophic wildfire and restore the watershed to a healthier, more resilient state. This landscape is also host to the first two Forest Resilience Bonds, which leverage substantial private sector investment to help fund implementation of this work.

 


Stanislaus National Forest SERAL: 

Within the Stanislaus Landscape a full suite of needed treatments to restore forest resilience at a landscape scale. Named SERAL for Social and Ecological Resilience Across the Landscape, these treatments include mastication, biomass removal, machine piling for burning, hand piling for burning, hand thinning, timber harvest, hazard tree removal, prescribed fire, and fuel break construction and maintenance. Combined, these efforts will reduce hazardous fuels and create a landscape that can better withstand disturbances such as wildfire, insects, disease, and drought conditions, while also protecting local communities, providing for critical species habitat, and supporting forest use and recreational opportunities.

 

 

 

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Wildfire action plan

Ready, Set, Go Brochure

Wildfire action plan

Ready, Set, Go Brochure


The new CAL FIRE guide illustrates the importance of creating and maintaining defensible space and hardening homes by retrofitting with ignition-resistance or noncombustible materials to protect against the threat of flying embers, direct flame contact and radiant heat exposure. The guide provides information about the preparations and precautions needed to safely evacuate if the threat of fire exists. These new brochures are the consolidation of past materials and part of the new Wildfire Action Plan that incorporates the Ready, Set, Go campaign. Brochures will be delivered to the CAL FIRE units for distribution during public events, fairs, and community meetings.

See the Brochure

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Wildfire. Are you prepared? 

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Photo of CalFire worker starting a controlled burn

Recent CAL FIRE Grants Total Over $250M For Wildfire and Forest Resilience

Photo of CalFire worker starting a controlled burn

Recent CAL FIRE Grants Total Over $250M For Wildfire and Forest Resilience


Funded projects address threatened communities, forest health, prescribed fire, restoring burned landscapes and more.

June 2, 2022 – CAL FIRE Grant Programs have allocated funds to address crucial needs in a wide range of areas related to wildfire and forest resilience. Together, they represent significant progress towards achieving the goals of California’s Wildfire & Forest Resilience Action Plan.

$118 million in funding was awarded for 144 Wildfire Prevention projects across the state. CAL FIRE’s Wildfire Prevention Grants enable local organizations like fire safe councils, to implement activities that address the hazards of wildfire and reduce wildfire risk to communities. Funded activities include hazardous fuel reduction, wildfire prevention planning, and wildfire prevention education. 

CAL FIRE’s Forest Health Program awarded 22 grants totaling $98.4 million for landscape-scale forest health and prescribed fire projects spanning over 55,000 acres and 14 counties. They also awarded $10 million to the North Coast Resource Partnership (NCRP) for its regional wildfire resilience plan, which was developed with support from the Department of Conservation’s Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program. 

30 grants totaling $33 million came from CAL FIRE’s Wood Products and Bioenergy Team for business and workforce development projects. Ten workforce grants will help train over 5,000 individuals in prescribed fire, fuels treatment, firefighting, and forestry, and another14 grants will create 120 jobs and utilize 750,000 tons of forest biomass that would otherwise remain in the woods or be burned in open piles. Two projects will expand the State’s native tree seed bank and grow seedlings to assist with reforestation, and six research and development grants will fund novel uses for forest biomass sourced from wildfire mitigation projects. 

CAL FIRE’s Wildfire Resilience Program awarded $9.99 million in block grants to the American Forest Foundation (AFF), Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, and the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD). The grants will support forest improvement projects on approximately 6,000 acres of small non-industrial private forestlands and provide technical assistance to private landowners in13 counties.

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Learn more about the CAL FIRE Grants Program

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illustration of house surrounded by fire

Be Prepared. It’s Wildfire Preparedness Week

illustration of house surrounded by fire

Be Prepared. It’s Wildfire Preparedness Week.


Harden Your Home. Create Defensible Space. Be Prepared for Wildfire! CAL FIRE Uses Wildfire Preparedness Week to Share the Message

May 1, 2022 – California’s Wildfire Preparedness Week is May 1 – 7, 2022, and CAL FIRE and its partner agencies are spending the week raising awareness on what individuals and communities can do to help protect themselves against the threat of wildfires. Being proactive and prepared for wildfire is crucial for all Californians in making its communities more resilient to the impacts of wildfire.

Almost half of the state’s largest and most damaging wildfires occurred in 2020 and 2021, and more than 6.8 million acres burned during this time. Lack of rainfall, with above normal temperatures through the spring, will leave fuel moisture levels lower than normal, increasing the potential for wildland fire activity. In 2022, CAL FIRE has already responded to more than 1,400 wildfires, burning more than 6,500 acres on state and federal lands combined.

“California continues to experience longer wildfire seasons as a direct result of climate change,” said Joe Tyler, CAL FIRE Director/Chief. “Minimal rainfall is expected throughout the spring, leaving most of the state in moderate to extreme drought conditions prior to summer.”

This year, Governor Newsom’s proposed budget for CAL FIRE allocates more than $3 billion for fire management, fire prevention, mitigation efforts including prescribed fire and fuel breaks, forest health, and home hardening.

Californians also have an important role in preparing for and preventing wildfires. Thousands of communities depend on smart planning and prevention tools like protective fuel breaks, defensible space, and home hardening for their safety and survival. These tools work together to build more fire-resilient communities. By preparing well in advance of a wildfire and taking steps now to reduce wildfire risks, you can dramatically increase your safety, the safety of your community, and the survivability of your home.


photo of prescribed fire burning through forest floor

Can Prescribed Fires Mitigate Health Harm?

photo of prescribed fire burning through forest floor

Can Prescribed Fires Mitigate Health Harm?


A Review of Air Quality & Public Health Implications of Wildfire & Prescribed Fire

Fire is critical to maintaining the health, resiliency, and diversity of habitats and ecosystems. Indigenous peoples of North America have used cultural fires for millennia to enhance biodiversity and other ecosystem benefits, as well as for ceremonial activities. Following Euro-American colonization, practices and policies shifted to promote fire exclusion, contributing to increased fuel loading and increased wildfire risk.

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US Forest Service photo of burning forest

How We Fight Wildfires: Preparing for Wildfires

How We Fight Wildfires: Preparing for Wildfires


March 21, 2022 – Wildfires continue to pose a significant threat in California. Brian Rhodes, who helps manage the Forest Service response, emphasizes that communities and homeowners need to be prepared.