San Rafael – Marin County residents will benefit from two wildfire prevention grants awarded Monday. As part of the State's SRA Fire Prevention Fund Grant Program, these grants will be used to reduce fuels and improve defensible space, evacuation routes, and preparedness in Marin's State Responsibility Areas (SRA). The first grant will fund $98,533 to reduce fuels along roadway evacuation routes and fund neighborhood chipper days in SRA communities in Marin. The second grant of $63,588 will fund a variety of fuel reduction and wildfire prepredness projects in the Rancho Santa Margarita community near Nicasio. FIRESafe MARIN will manage the grants in cooperation with Marin County Fire Department, Nicasio Volunteer Fire Department, and other local fire and land management agencies.
2014 and 2015 were FIRESafe MARIN's most successful years ever, with more than $816,472 in grants awarded. 2016 has seen several new grant funded wildfire prevention projects in Marin, bringing the three year funding total to $1,078,593. Our fuel reduction efforts in 2014 and 2015 spanned the entire County, from West Marin to Sausalito, involving thousands of volunteer hours and dozens of state, federal, and local public land management agencies, private homeowner's associations, businesses, PG&E, and every Marin fire agency. A partial list of projects funded in 2014, 2015, and 2016 is available online at www.firesafemarin.org/projects.
CAL FIRE announced Monday that it had awarded $3 million in grants throughout the state for a variety of fire prevention projects aimed at reducing the elevated threat of wildfires due to the ongoing drought and significant tree mortality. The announcement comes just two months after CAL FIRE released nearly $2 million for fire prevention projects in the counties hit hardest by tree mortality and bark beetle.
“This grant funding will help communities prepare for what is likely to be another challenging fire season,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director and California’s state forester. “These grants will help complete vital fire prevention projects to help mitigate some of the impacts created by four years of drought and hazardous fuel build up.”
These grants are part of $5 million from the State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund allowing local fire departments and fire districts to create projects that help to reduce the threat of wildfires around homes within the State Responsibility Area. With today’s announcement for funding of 44 additional projects, it brings the total number of projects funded to 63. These projects will reinforce and augment CAL FIRE’s ongoing projects and efforts to address the risk and potential impacts of large, damaging wildfires. Grant selection criteria weighted projects that address fire risk and potential impact of wildfire to habitable structures in the State Responsibility Area, as well as community support and project feasibility.
A full list of the grant projects can be viewed at: http://www.fire.ca.gov/grants/downloads/2016_FuelReducionGrants.pdf
While firefighters are busy working on fire prevention projects including brush clearance, fire breaks and fuel reduction, officials stress the need for residents to do their part. This is the time of year when residents should be working to ensure they have 100 feet of Defensible Space around their homes. This includes removing all dead or dying grass, brush and trees, limbing up branches six feet from the ground, and cleaning leaves, needles or debris off roofs and gutters. Learn more at www.FireSafeMarin.org