CAL FIRE last week awarded $43.5 million to local organizations to reduce the risk of wildfires to homes and communities across California.
Fifty-five local fire prevention projects are receiving funding for hazardous fuel reductions, wildfire preparedness planning and fire prevention education. That includes two awards in Mariposa County totaling more than $900,000. Those awards will be administered through the Mariposa County Fire Safe Council.
One project is the creation of a fuel break in the Alta Vista area, which is located north of Mariposa.
The project will focus on creating a fuel break in the area, allowing firefighters safe access to the Alta Vista ridge line, which CAL FIRE called “a critical location for fire suppression and monitoring.”
According to the CAL FIRE press release, the fuel break “will reduce the size and intensity of wildfires coming from the Merced River canyon and directly protect the town of Mariposa and Mt. Bullion area from large and damaging fires.”
In addition, officials say it would “reduce the intensity of fire” moving from Highway 140 into the Midpines area.
The other project is the Stumpfield Mountain fuel break and the total award is $674,577.
This large project is targeted at helping protect the communities of Ponderosa Basin, Usona and Bootjack from large and damaging fires as well as prevent the spread of fires to Ahwanee, Nippiniwassee and Oakhurst in Madera County.
It states the Chowchilla River drainage “would be made less vulnerable to soil damage and erosion caused by high intensity wildfires, such as the 1961 Harlow Fire, increasing the quantity and quality of water available in the watershed and improving wildfire habitat and forage for grazing.”
“We have doubled down on our efforts to clear brush, inspect homes for defensible space and reduce the risk of wildfires,” said Chief Thomas Porter, CAL FIRE director. “These 55 local projects will play a critical role in augmenting our fire prevention efforts.”
CAL FIRE’s Fire Prevention Grant Program is part of the California Climate Investments (CCI). CCI is a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in low income and disadvantaged communities. Award recipients include cities, counties, fire districts, Native American tribes and other non-profits. These projects all meet the goals and objectives of California’s Strategic Fire Plan adopted in 2019.
Since 2014, CAL FIRE has funded over 430 local fire prevention grants totaling more than $150 million. These projects and activities have addressed the risk of wildfire and reduced wildfire potential to communities in wildland urban interface areas.