CALIFORNIA—On Thursday, April 8, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins revealed a $536 million plan that they say will assist in preventing wildfires.
This package will “fund forest management projects” and “restore the ecological health of forests.” It will also “fuel breaks around vulnerable communities to protect residents and property” and have “community hardening infrastructure,” in a news release by the Governor’s office.
Senator Atkins called the package “an investment that is needed now more than ever” and “every $ spent on prevention saves CA $6-7 in damage. But, this is about more than money. It’s about lives, homes, and livelihoods,” in an April 8 tweet.
This legislative package comes exactly three months after Governor Newsom proposed in his 2021-2022 state budget to include “an additional $1 billion to address a comprehensive wildfire and forest resilience strategy,” in a January 8 news release.
The wildfire package comes more than a week after Governor Newsom approved $80 million in emergency funds to hire 1,400 firefighters in the state.
The CA Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL Fire) said the year 2020 was “the largest wildfire season recorded in California’s modern history” with “nearly 10,000 fires” burning more than “4.2 million acres, more than 4% of the state’s roughly 100 million acres of land,” stated its website. 33 people lost their lives.