Aldon Thomas Stiles, California Black Media
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration, through the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (Cal Fire), has directed nearly $137 million in funding to local fire prevention.
Newsom approved $123 million of that funding in April for the Fire Prevention Grant Program, while the additional $14.8 million is being repurposed from grants from Cal Fire’s budget last year.
These funds have been allocated to 105 local fire prevention programs in communities across California.
“California and the western U.S. are facing an unparalleled risk of catastrophic wildfire in this new climate reality. That’s why @CAL_FIRE is directing nearly $138 million in grants to protect and build resilience in local communities,” Newsom tweeted.
Last year, Newsom cut roughly $150 million from Cal Fire’s budget.
According to Cal Fire, California’s wildfire crisis has burned about 1,968,326 acres, damaged or destroyed 3,050 structures and caused one confirmed fatality.
Newsom and others have claimed that climate change is contributing to the wildfires.
“These grants will further our work to tackle California’s forest health and wildfire crisis, funding community-based projects that build
resilience to protect lives and property,” Newsom said in a statement last week.
Newsom also claimed that California is a leader on the national stage in the global fight against climate change. He made that statement last weekend when President Biden visited California to support him before the recall election Tuesday.
“California is leading the nation with bold solutions to protect people and the environment, and the Biden-Harris Administration is proposing transformative investments to take on this existential crisis. With their dedicated partnership, we will continue to scale up our forest health and wildfire resilience efforts and ensure our communities recovering from wildfires have the support they need,” he said.